The Path of Motus – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer, Puzzler
Developer: MichaelArts
Publisher: MichaelArts
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Tested on: PC

The Path of Motus – Review

Site Score
Good: Fresh take on platformer genre, well drawn
Bad: Lacking in content
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.8/10 (5 votes cast)

The Path of Motus is the brainchild of independent indie developer Michael Hicks. He already proved himself by successfully creating and releasing Pillar, a mini-game based project. This time The Path of Motus is a fully fledged adventure raising some question on the purpose of life and… violence in video games!


You are Motus, a green haired dryad-like creature living in the forest. Starting at childhood, you are compelled to find out what’s behind the forest. Possessing the power to destroy with your words and a magic paintbrush able to create bridges, you follow your father’s footsteps into the unknown. As nobody ever succeeded into traversing the forest your quest isn’t an easy one too.

You start your journey in good spirit and are aided by a goblin friend. Many goblins are present in the woods, even though they are not as kind hearted. They shout words at you which you need to dodge or counter. As you process through the trees you age and have to deal with the fact that others invest in a job and a relationship and you are alone. Later on you are also challenged on the ethical choices you’ve made in the game…

The Path of Motus uses both verbal and non-verbal communication to pass on its message. Visual clues are abundant in several ‘thought rooms’ spread out in the game. This is combined with dialogue with (recurring) characters. Some of these characters are progressing in their life cycle, showing you what you’re missing by solely focusing on traversing the forest…


Graphic wise The Path of Motus looks good. A lot of care was attended to the different environments you pass through, and especially to the thought rooms. These are well drawn and full of detail. The forest itself is also beautifully visualized, from fresh clear green trees over a mustier pallet to a decaying environment. This amplifies the shock you experience when your reach the clear sunny beach at the end of the forest, kind of like the border of the labyrinth in the maze runner.

The shots you fire, which are words you speak in this platformer, are readable colored words that either fade out, get blocked in a proper barrier animation or cause an enemy to vaporize. The parts where you have to build stuff are a bit basic though, they are just circles with numbers in them which you connect by lines. Luckily the resulting bridges are pretty. There are also some hints and tutorial messages assimilated in the background, but still some elements you’ll have to figure out yourself.


The background music is a jolly melody that carries you through the game. The tune is nothing memorable but at the same time nothing like you have heard much before. It doesn’t really change through the story but then the play through time is rather on the short side (30’ till 1 hour). Only other sounds present are the effects of your actions like jumping the platforms or the words you or the enemy characters speak. Those words are limited to ‘hey’, ‘yeah’ and ‘why’ while some enemies know an additional ‘nope’.


This fairytale based action platformer is a fun intermezzo from ‘hardcore’ platforming. It might be challenging at first, especially due to the keyboard control layout (fixed by being modifiable in the latest patch). Still when you got the hang of it and you know all the tricks, the game isn’t hard at all anymore. By then you will have finished the first run, and you’ll be given an opportunity to rerun it. That time with (few) additional puzzles and the extra challenge of not killing anyone. You yourself will die a lot actually, but there are a lot of respawn points making it so you’ll never have to do a hard part twice. Enemies fire on you with their words and you (might) counter those projectiles by speaking the same word simultaneously.

In one part you play with two characters. A girl resembling your girlfriend tags along and you can swap between them freely. One can be put to guard mode making them countering enemies’ words. The regular platforming is interrupted by the math puzzles spread across the levels. They are increasingly harder but nothing you’ll break your brain over. As you have all the time to solve them, these puzzles might have been added to prolong the story a bit. Or they are an attempt to merge two game ideas into one… The game is also filled with NPCs who make you think about the ‘home garden kid’ path vs aiming for that faraway goal. It might grow on you a bit but still you might probably not get much further than to feel a little pity for the focused Motus.


The path of Motus is a good platformer due to the refreshing take on the genre, the story and the solidness of the levels. The point the developer tries to make is somewhat lost though, and the game is lacking in content. The ‘co-op’ routine is way too short and could actually have been a full local multiplayer concept. The puzzles are a somewhat strange mismatch with the core platforming itself. The menu could have been done better, especially the option to change the key binding. We do hope that Mr. Hicks can expand his team so his next title can fill the little void this game has left us with!

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Rating: 6.8/10 (5 votes cast)
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The Path of Motus - Review, 6.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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