Tearaway Unfolded is an expanded remake of the 2013 PlayStation Vita game Tearaway. Like the original, it is a third-person platform game with heavy emphasis on environmental interaction, the features of the DualShock 4 controller, and quirky creativity. The player navigates the protagonist though environments made almost entirely out of paper, and may complete side-objectives which involve helping non-player characters and the creation of items. The protagonist's main movement options are jumping, grabbing, and rolling.
When moving through areas, the player mostly modifies the landscape so that new paths can be opened. For example, in order to reach an isolated area, the player might have to bring down a platform by casting a gust of wind, climb onto the platform, and then return the platform to its original position and jump off. The player is also given tools to help with puzzles. One such tool acts as a reef blower or vacuum cleaner, moving items out of the way or defeating enemies. Some tools or objects must first be created on the controller's touch pad. Here, the player can draw the shape of an object and choose the colours. When finished, the item is then used in the game world wherever it is necessary. One instance of this occurs when the player is asked to create a butterfly design. The butterfly design the player creates can then be seen numerous times throughout each level for the rest of the game.
Although the plot and central characters mostly remain unchanged, many gameplay elements from the original have been tweaked for the DualShock 4 controller. For instance, touch-based elements in the original game have been re-mapped and modified for use on PlayStation 4. The creation aspects, where players used the touchscreen to draw objects that would appear in game, are now used on the DualShock's touchpad. Alternatively, the player may use the PlayStation Camera or the PlayStation App to input their drawings. The latter options can also be used to input a real world texture or colour into the game, a feature previously dedicated to the Vita's rear camera. Along with new creation methods, the touchpad is used for interacting with the world. Certain platforms require the player to grab, hold, or drag them off the environment for use. The player can also use the touchpad to create a blast of wind, which can swipe enemies away and blow down extra platforms for use.
The lightbar on the front of the DualShock controller can be used to help illuminate dark areas in the game world, as well as create additional platforms for traversing areas. The gyroscope of the DualShock 4 allows suspending, tilting, and turning platforms in the game, to make them possible for the messenger to traverse.
Tearaway Unfolded renders in 1080p HD, at 60 frames per second frame rate.