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Paper Beast's origami ecosystem can now be explored without VR

Cardboard crocodiles and A4 alligators

Paper Beast's folded menagerie should be right up my alley. Unfortunately, for the time being, Eric Chahi's wonderful sandbox has been locked behind pricey, clunky VR headsets. Thankfully, Pixel Reef today released Paper Beast: Folded Edition, flattening the digital wilderness into something you and I can play on our non-head-mounted screens.

Making its debut on PlayStation VR way back in March, Paper Beast migrated to PC headsets in July. Now, the cyberzoo is open for those of us without VR headsets.

Paper Beast, in case you missed it, is a folded wilderness sandbox from the mind of Eric Chahi (of From Dust and Another World fame). Apparently, the deepest corners of the internet aren't filled with garbage memes and human detritus but wonderful digital wildlife, paper creatures just waiting for a virtual explorer to come and mess with their closed ecosystems.

There's a campaign mode, of course, where you'll be poking and prodding at these crafted creatures to help solve their various problems. But there's also an expansive sandbox, letting you craft your own world and populate it with any beasts you fancy - letting you sit back and enjoy each species' unique behavioural quirks and how they collide against each other.

"It staggers me, frankly," our pal Christian Donlan said in his review for Eurogamer. "Those creatures and that world have left me subtly different. I will not forget them, or the sense of fascination in nature and attentiveness to one's own actions and behaviours that is at the very heart of this game. Blink at times and Paper Beasts could be mistaken for something like Journey - you cross a landscape and are transformed."

Paper Beast: Folded Edition brings that wonder to VR-less folks on Steam and the Epic Games Store for £12.14/€12.59/$15.29. It is, admittedly, a bit weird to have the non-VR version pushed as a new game and not an update to the existing game, though Pixel Reef assure that existing Paper Beast owners will get Folded Edition for free.

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