To start off with one of my cliche intros: The Maw is an interesting beast. Graphically I think the game looks fine. It takes the arduous job of making a 3D game look good even as technology leaves it behind. Most games look like donkey turds a few years after their release. The Maw is just the right level of color and design that it’ll likely look alright for decades. It’s not fantastic, but the charm that it exudes through its simple art design is likely to please you and your kids for many years to come.
The controls are equally passable. At every step of the way the game tells you what button to press to make things happen. This is nice because otherwise it features absolutely no user interface most of the time. That’s not something I dislike and I admire its attempt to keep you engaged in the game instead of menus and whatnot. The game tasks you, a refuge alien, with controlling a creature known as “The Maw”. This jelly like creature has an insatiable appetite that luckily never seems to turn towards you. Much like Yoshi you can feed this monster other monsters and he’ll sometimes gain special abilities because of it. Blowing fire, flying, smashing through things. It’s all quite lovely and intuitive.
Each level is a puzzle and you must solve that puzzle using both terrain changes and the Maw itself. For the most part I found this to be fun. I kept over thinking puzzles and looking for a complex solution where a much, much, more basic one existed. That’s fine, I’m fairly sure this game is targeted at quite young kids. I could be wrong though. The levels never really outstayed their welcome with me which I appreciate. They were just long enough to get the job done in each instance.
The game also gives you each new ability one at a time and uses the level to teach you how to use it. There are no long winded tutorials (minus an awkward one right at the beginning) which again is a breath of fresh air.
The thing I can’t say about this game is that I want to play it more. I could see myself watching someone else finish it but there is something about the game that just doesn’t really work for me. It doesn’t have that spark that keeps me engaged. I’d love to know what happens in the story but mucking through each of the levels as the alien instead of the monster is just kinda a chore for me. He’s cute but he’s also painfully slow and not very interesting. I much prefer the silly Stitch monster over the kid.
Overall if you can pick it up for cheap (which is likely the case) I’d say it is worth it. It wasn’t bad. I’d say its alright or ok. It didn’t offend me, it didn’t break any real rules of gaming, but there just wasn’t a spark to keep me going. I can’t really burn on my own, I need a little help from the entertainment I’m engaging.