Tearaway review for PS Vita

Platform: PlayStation Vita
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Media Molecule
Medium: Digital/Vita Card
Players: 1
Online: Yes

Before I write anything else about Tearaway, I'll say this: if you own a PS Vita, buy it now. If you don't have a Vita, go buy one, and pick up Tearaway while you're at it. Basically, the core message of this review is everyone should buy Tearaway ASAP. Buy it early, buy it often, buy it for yourself, buy it for friends and family, buy it for random strangers on the street.

I say that up front because Tearaway is one of those rare games that's so wonderful, I don't feel I can fully convey the extent of its wonderfulness. Every moment of the game fills me with joy, and I've generally found that any time a work of art — be it music, movie, game or whatever — makes me feel that way, it's almost impossible to write about in any kind of coherent, rational fashion. Anything that makes me this happy also makes me ramble, and I'd hate for my basic point about Tearaway (which, again, is that you should buy it post-haste) to get lost.


It doesn't help that Tearaway fills me with more pure joy than most other games. In part, I imagine, this is because "joy" isn't usually the emotion games set out to inspire. Off the top of my head, its competition in this area would be…I don't know. Kirby's Epic Yarn? Little Big Planet? Parts of some Mario games? All great games, to be sure, but it's clear that it's not a particularly crowded field.

That said, from that list of comparable games, it's clear that even if the competition in the field of "joyful happy games" isn't exactly huge, it's still (ironically) pretty fierce. It's a mark of just how fantastic Tearaway is that it stands up to comparisons with all three. Bold claim? Perhaps. But the more I play Tearaway, the less bold it gets.

Actually, it's probably more an appropriate claim and set of comparisons than anything else. Like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Tearaway is forgiving of your mistakes; it doesn't quite rewind to the point just before death, but any time your character falls to his or her death, it's never a giant setback. Also like Kirby's Epic Yarn, the enemies in Tearaway are absolutely adorable. They may charge at you with (adorably) evil intent, but it's hard not to giggle when they land on their heads and start waving their little feet in the air.


On a related — but not totally similar — note, Tearaway shares with Kirby's Epic Yarn a commitment to making a world that looks like something more than just pixels on a screen. Where Kirby did it with yarn, however, Tearaway does it with paper. Scenery flutters in the wind; you poke holes in it through the back touchscreen to defeat enemies (thereby making this one of the rare times the Vita's back touchscreen functionality has been put to good use); you can draw on it, and cut things out, and redesign how characters look; basically, in a lot of ways, you can treat Tearaway like your literal drawing board.

And that's where the Little Big Planet comparison really comes alive. Obviously, some similarities were inevitable, since it's Media Molecule behind both. But in making Tearaway, MM clearly took LBP's play/create/share ethos to heart. As mentioned, you can control how characters look and dress. You can share those with an online community. And, taking things one step beyond LBP, you can download pictures you take in the game and turn them into real-life papercraft — which certainly adds to the game's sense of wonder and joy, because it gives you the satisfaction of creating something not just on a screen, but with your bare hands, too.

There's one key difference between Tearaway and Little Big Planet, however: the jumping. Yes, it seems that in creating Tearaway, Media Molecule took that one major LBP criticism to heart, and used it to make Tearaway a better game. Consequently, they created a platformer without the floatiness and guesswork that sometimes went into Little Big Planet, and there's no question that Tearaway is a better game for it.


In fact, not only is it a better game, I'd say it's one of the contributing factors towards Tearaway being one of the best games the Vita has to offer. It's gorgeous, it's fun to play, it's life-affirmingly happy to the point that just thinking about playing made me grin like an idiot. Like I said up top, if you own a Vita — or if you've thought about getting one, or even if you're vaguely aware that Sony has a handheld gaming system — you owe it to yourself to buy it as soon as humanly possible. It really is that amazingly great.

Grade: A+

Tearaway (Video Game)

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Genre: action_games

Explore a Vibrant Papery World Held Entirely in Your Hands!

Journey through a vibrant, living papery world, with a plucky messenger who has a unique message to deliver—to YOU!

The papery world of Tearaway unfolds in your hands, allowing you to reach into the game with your god-like powers and help your new messenger friend, IOTA or ATOI, complete this very special delivery.

You’ll uncover a magical dimension inspired by folklore, and built realistically from paper that unfolds and comes alive before your very eyes. As you explore this world you'll meet the papercraft creatures that live within it, help out strange new friends and encounter dangerous challenges.

The world of Tearaway blends with our own through the unique features of the Playstation Vita, allowing you to reach up into the world using the rear-touch panel and see your fingertips appear inside the game, solve puzzles using the power of touch, or literally breathe new life into this papercraft land, in an adventure unlike anything you’ve played before.

As you play, you’ll bring a little bit of this papery world back with you, as you collect plans to craft the creatures, treasures, and surroundings of Tearaway from paper in the real world. As you explore, you’ll also see more of your own surroundings appearing inside the paper world too!

Tearaway Delivers a Truly Unique and Personalized Game Experience

Embark on a new adventure from the creative minds behind LittleBigPlanet - Explore a living world made entirely out of paper.

  • A new and unique adventure
  • A hands-in experience
  • A vibrant, living papery world that unfolds in your hands
  • A unique experience
List Price:$39.99 USD
New From:$20.00 USD In Stock
Used from:$14.74 USD In Stock