LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh

Paradise Marsh Review

Game: Paradise Marsh
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam and Xbox One/X/S)
Developers | Publishers: Etienne Trudeau | Popagenda
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $9.99 | UK £8.49 | EU € 9,99
Release Date: October 13th, 2022

Review code used, with many thanks to Popagenda PR.

Paradise Marsh is a neat little bug-catching exploration game from solo dev Etienne Trudeau.

It’s got a simple but cool concept that’s well-executed. Whether you’ll enjoy it boils down to taste and frame of mind, too. As this game is best enjoyed with a mood to wander, rather than striving to “catch em all”.

LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Lilypads? Let there be frogs!
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Too-who’s that sitting on the lamppost?

Myst-erious But Not Mind-Boggling

The first few minutes reminded me of that old classic Myst, where you’re dropped on a mysterious island, clueless about what to do. Clueless in a good way, though.

Paradise Marsh is, thankfully, not the kind of game you’ll bang your head over. It simply puts a net in your hand and says “Go!” Catch bugs, enjoy the sunset, and trace constellations in the night sky.

LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Sunsets never get boring.
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Never seen that here before. Hmm…

Don’t be fooled by the minimalist look and chunky pixel art style. There’s quite a bit under the hood, plus many little secrets to discover.

The world of Paradise Marsh is procedurally generated and endless. It’s not confined to a predetermined map. Despite familiar landmarks reappearing, the landscape is sufficiently varied. Wander through swamps, pine groves, and flower fields; wonder at intriguing landmarks like a solitary lamp-post or random torii (Japanese shrine gate).

Wander and Wonder

Try interacting with whatever you find. Experiment, play! My favorite object was the sitting log, and that one actually gave me a “wow” moment.

LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Gotcha at last, nyahaha!
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Itsy bitsy spider, I’ve got my target locked.
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Arghh, get back here!
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Another cool page added to my journal.

And there are, of course, the bugs. Each bug you catch earns a star towards a full constellation. Listen to what each star has to say, and as you accumulate bugs of the same species, a distinct personality or view of life emerges for each bug type.

The game’s poetic musings felt relevant and well-written at times, but lacklustre at other times. The birds and bottled messages didn’t really move me with their word choice, rhythm, or imagery. But I enjoyed listening to the stars.

So the dialogue, or rather, monologues was hit and miss for me. Still, the poetry adds a nice touch, making Paradise Marsh a contemplative game.

LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Poetic messages add a nice contemplative touch to the game.
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Join the dots, and find the bugs.

Paradise, But A Little Dizzying

Even if the graphical style doesn’t appeal to you at first glance, give it a chance. You can adjust the pixel resolution in the Settings menu.

Using the default resolution setting on a Switch Lite, I experienced an occasional drop in frame rate but it wasn’t a problem. Unfortunately, the frame rate did slow down too much when I switched to the highest, sharpest resolution.

But the real problem was how the movement felt. The game uses a first-person POV, in which I tend to get motion sickness. Adjusting the FOV (field of view) and camera sensitivity helped, though after playing for 30 minutes I would still feel slightly unwell. That’s just me, though.

By the way, the developer says the Switch version is due for a patch that will “improve performance and add some content.” [Note: Patch was released shortly after this review was written]

LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
I did need a break once in a while.
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Feel the sun and wind on your face (or imagine it).
LadiesGamers Paradise Marsh
Oh, my stars!


To see the game’s ending, you must catch enough bugs to complete all constellations. I haven’t gotten there yet, despite the fact that Paradise Marsh can be finished in about 2 to 4 hours. But this is a game about exploration, where the journey matters more than the destination. If players enjoy an hour or three of wandering this marshy heaven, I think the game has done its job well enough.

Though I should mention that the novelty of exploration wore off after about 2 hours, and I didn’t feel like hunting down every last bug. Others may enjoy the game longer than I did. As I said, it’s a matter of taste and mood. And this, too, is quite subjective but I would rate the game higher if I had less of a problem with motion sickness and found gameplay rewarding enough to see Paradise Marsh to its end.

Overall, it’s a lovely game and worth trying. Check it out if you’re looking for a game about exploring the outdoors or catching critters.

Final Verdict: I Like It

I like it

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