While taking your time to poke around the different areas, discovering critters and poetry, can be relaxing it’s also pretty dull
While this is true for all games, I think with indie games there’s a particular risk in failing to deliver something for people to really latch onto pretty quickly that they want more of. For me Paradise Marsh falls into this trap with its pretty open-ended “explore and find wonder” model where you can seemingly go forever in any direction. Not really explaining anything you’re equipped with a net and you’ll then run into bugs and other critters who you determine you can catch. Throw in some bottles with messages in them and people you’ll encounter that you can help and though it always stays quite simple there are at least some core elements of interest you’ll encounter. My issue was first that it feels like it stumbles out of the gate with no direction and no guarantee you’ll hit upon anything of note quickly as you wander in search of purpose. If you have patience, there are some slow burn rewards that await but the question for the player will be whether you expect a little more substance in the play itself, which trends toward dull and a bit clunky at best.
Justin Nation, Score: