the Maw

the Maw

Simply put, the Maw is a 3D escort platformer nominated for the IGF award of Technical Excellence. It is a short but rather fun game where you, taking charge of a small humanoid alien, is tasked with guiding around and feeding another alien, the titular Maw. Depending on his food intake, the Maw can mutate and get new abilities that you use to solve puzzles in the levels.

Gameplay-wise, the Maw relies on variation. There’s not much action as reflex-based challenges are boiled down to “hit the button at the right time” or wholly automated, and there is no economy whatsoever – the only punishment for failing being that you will have to try again. Something new is presented almost every level to keep your interest – this means that the game doesn’t really explore any feature fully or become more difficult as you progress – but it also means it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, and you never get bored playing it even if certain powers are somewhat cliché and poorly implemented.

Finally, a few technical issues aside, the presentation is very polished and doesn’t in any way reveal the Maw’s indie origins – the Animations in particular does a terrific job of communicating the wordless relation between the two protagonists. Making 3D platformers is apparently difficult to pull off and I’d say the Maw does a good job – even though I would have preferred a deeper game with more varied level design and settings.

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Posted on Jan 23/09 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »