LadiesGamers: Macrotis

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey Review

Game: Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer, Action
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Xbox, PS4 and PC)
Developer|Publisher: Proud Dinosaurs | eastasiasoft
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price:  UK £10.99 | US $11.99 | EU € 11,99
Release Date: July 15th, 2021

Review code provided with many thanks to eastasiasoft

When Animals Ruled in Gaming 

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey is a 2D puzzle platformer that’s turning heads with its striking art style and unique protagonist. Back in the 90s animal protagonists were all the rage. Not sure what happened over the next few decades but people seemed to favour homo-sapiens, more than the enormous amount of other possible options in the animal kingdom. As always it is up to the indie developers out there to realise this potential. But enough on that on with the review.

LadiesGamers Macrotis
Tiny character, on a puzzling adventure

It’s About Family and Wizards

You play as Bilby who looks like a blue variant of an elephant shrew I think. It’s hard to say as she’s a lot bigger than a tiny rodent but as always I’m putting far more thought into this fascinating blue variant than I should. She has been separated from her children during a rainstorm. In her desperate bid to return to the surface, Bilby dislodges an important crystal which causes a Wizard to take a rather unfortunate tumble. But rather than getting mad, the Wizard shows compassion to Bilby offering some of his own Wizard skills to help Bilby in her quest to return to her family.

The story is straightforward and delivered in nice artistic still images between chapters which look kinda like old school Disney prints. Bilby and the Wizard are also fully voice acted which I didn’t feel added much to the experience. This felt like one of those games where the story could have been easily delivered without any dialogue. Sometimes less is more. While the voice acting is competent it felt kinda irritating at times. Bilbys high pitch was a bit much for my ears and the wizards more relaxed tone just made me want to take a nap (I guess that’s good in a way). If you need to restart an area you have to listen to the same dialogue over and over again meaning I was often playing the game in mute.

LadiesGamers Macrotis
Down into the depths

Puzzles and Platforms

The main focus of the game is solving puzzles with a little bit of platforming thrown in for good measure. When you reach a puzzle area in the game the camera usually zooms out to give you a full view of the situation. The game has no enemies or combat of any kind. But if Bilby hits a hazard or falls into water or gas she will die instantly. The checkpoints in this game are quite inconsistent. In some sections, you have to go through very long puzzle segments before reaching a checkpoint. This becomes a pain if you have to repeat a long puzzle section only to fall in a pit right at the end. 

I hope this is a nice spider

Different Moves

Bilby has quite a few moves at her disposal. She can gnaw through roots to drop big stone blocks, dig through dirt walls and walk across fragile surfaces and push and pull items. After you encounter the wizard you also unlock an ability where Bilby can meditate creating a ghost-like state of herself that can phase through walls and use all of the above moves.

If the ghost gets harmed it’s ok as you just regain control of Bilby. You also unlock a move later where you can create walls. By making use of the moves you can solve a wide variety of intricate puzzles. The game does seem to go for quite the trial and error approach which I’m not sure I fully enjoyed. Sometimes you have to experiment with puzzles but often if you make a wrong move there is no way for you to progress and you are forced to restart the puzzle from the start. This design can get a bit tedious as you need to repeat similar actions over and over. 

LadiesGamers Macrotis
Hope you don’t mind if I hitch a ride


The controls are a mixed bag. Movement and jump feel quite jerky. On multiple occasions, I tapped to jump and it felt like it was a 50/50 shot if Bilby would actually jump or not. This was a particular nuisance if you’re jumping over a hazard after slogging through a long puzzle section. This lack of responsiveness carried over to abilities, like summoning walls from the floor, but this didn’t hamper the experience too much as you’re not usually in any danger when using this.

LadiesGamers Macrotis
The game zooms out to help you assess the whole puzzle


Graphically this title is quite detailed. Initially, you start the game underground in a muddy area featuring the odd spider inhabitant and turtle to ride on the back of. But towards the latter end of the game, you move to a more standard castle setting. It’s still nicely detailed with suits of armour and giant cogs but it just doesn’t feel quite as alive as the start of the game. Performance-wise the game ran optimally in TV and handheld mode. 

LadiesGamers Macrotis
I must meditate on this

Conclusion- A Puzzling Adventure

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey, is an enjoyable game if you’re looking to test your puzzle skills. Controls could be a bit more responsive and the trial and error approach to puzzles can become a bit dull. But it’s easy to say this is the best game starring an elephant shrew-like character I’ve played. It doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel but this is a solid casual puzzler if you give it a chance.

Final Verdict: I Like it
I like it

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