Stars have vanished from the sky and scattered around in a perfect wetland crawling with wildlife… Catch bugs and chat with delightful characters while wandering through peaceful scenery. But don’t lose sight of the night sky, the constellations need help!
Reviewed on: PC
Also available for: Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Linux, macOS
Lead Credits: Etienne Trudeau (Creator, Programmer, Artist, etc), Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace)
(Compositor / Sound Designer), Raphaël Dely
(Writing), Brendan Caldwell
(Additional Writing), Christophe Trudeau,
Rami Nuseir (Editors), Jake Grizz Pierce
All the stars have fallen from the sky into the Paradise Marsh, a perfect and endless wetland filled with wildlife. Wander the endless wetland with your trusty net and discover a way to replenish the now-empty sky. During this journey, explore the marsh and find different items of intrigue, such as flowers, creatures, lost poems, and interesting characters that require your help in this quirky game.
Paradise Marsh is a unique place to explore, with a multitude of biomes contained across a seemingly endless world. The game starts with you awakening in this marsh and looking at the sky, a sky filled with stars and constellations. Within moments the stars begin to fall, and creatures appear in the swamp around you. The game doesn’t give you much in the way of instructions following this, but the player is equipped with a bug net and a journal with some blank pages to fill and some very basic instructions to assist you in your journey.
As the journey begins, I see a large bug on a tree stump; approaching slowly, I capture the beetle and add information to the journal, along with a constellation drawing and a counter for how many are left to catch. This is how the game introduces the core gameplay of Paradise Marsh: explore, find the creatures, and return them to the sky.
While exploring the wetlands, the player also can stumble upon the many mini-activities. These range from finding flowers and playing they love me/they love me not with a delightful tune to skimming rocks across the water. Even soccer balls are laying about that award you with a special surprise when they are directed into the goal.
The low-fi graphics add to the game’s charm, a delightfully pixelated world to explore that is filled with randomness. Walking around, the player can find themselves in a sunny biome, a rainy one, and even an icy place. Find rocks to skim, chimes to ring, and even build snowmen with eight arms, two hats, and unlimited eyes. The design of the world is a treat, add into that a beautiful yet subtle soundtrack, along with the sound of nature around, and you’re soon delivered into bliss. While a goal is laid out, the player can do what they want for as long as they want to enjoy the world. Discovering birds like the owl, magpie or bluebird will allow the player to have a poem read to them. Find wind chimes, flutes, and drums and enjoy playing them. Check out the water to discover messages in bottles, or find a nice log and watch the sky.