The Path of Motus

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
The Path of Motus Game Poster Image
Adventure tackles bullying with positivity and mild combat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Key elements include puzzle solving and personal empowerment by choosing and using words to confront bullies. The game also encourages players not only to dream but also to pursue those dreams even when others cast doubt or oppose the fulfillment of personal goals. 

Positive Messages

Encourages players with words of encouragement that promote empowerment. The title is about pursuing goals, regardless of what or who may confront the player. Overall tone promotes maintaining a positive attitude. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Motus is a little goblin that dreams of a better life. He uses words and missiles to defeat bullies, and uses a paintbrush to solve puzzles, but the core of his actions centers on pursuing dreams by overcoming a variety of obstacles.

Ease of Play

This is a side-scrolling game that features puzzles, platform jumping, and occasional combat. Some fights require fast reflexes to match keyboard commands to fire missiles at other goblins, but generally, the controls aren't very complicated.

Violence & Scariness

Fantasy violence where players match keyboard prompts to fire missiles at enemies. When a character is defeated, they dissolve in a shower of water. No blood or gore's shown.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Path of Motus is a downloadable adventure game for Windows PCs. Players take on the role of a goblin attempting to fulfill his dreams against other goblins that attempt to stop him. Combat is an occasional part of gameplay, involving characters matching keyboard prompts to fire missiles at opponents. When defeated, characters dissolve in a splash of water, but no blood or gore is shown. The game also features logic puzzles in addition to platforming arcade elements. Aside from fighting (against bullies), there's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

In THE PATH OF MOTUS, players are introduced to a village of goblins that lives deep within the forest. For generations, any attempt by its occupants to leave the walls of the village has failed for a number of reasons, which has made the goblins believe that they need to accept life in their town the way it is, and that their dreams are useless. But one day, a young goblin named Motus decides to leave the village and embarks on an adventure to accomplish this goal. Along the way, he runs into other goblins intent on turning him back through combat or verbal bullying. Motus must solve puzzles, engage in platform jumping, match on-screen keyboard prompts for combat, or use words to overcome those who would stop him from succeeding.

Is it any good?

This adventure game highlights an important truth: Bullying may take many forms, but you shouldn't let others prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. This message is constantly repeated through The Path of Motus, which was quite surprising. Over the course of the adventure, the harm of bullying, how words can hurt, and how bullying significantly affects people is repeatedly shown to the player. Fortunately, Motus has the means to confront bullies, and not just by countering violence with violence. As players get farther in the game, they'll discover that not only can they use words to take away the power of bullies, but they also don't need to counter hurtful actions with violence. Even better, this message remains consistent as the game moves from being an adventure game to one with platform jumping to a reflex-based combat game.

If there is a drawback to the game, it's that it's not very long, and isn't very replayable, unless you want to try different approaches to some fights. While it's possible to fight through every enemy, the path of nonviolence is much more satisfying in the end. In fact, its limited play does help players work through the puzzles and story at their own pace. Overall, The Path of Motus has a great story to tell and, more importantly, addresses a topic that's extremely important to express to young gamers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to stand up to bullying. What are some of the things that bullies say or do? How do younger players handle confrontation?

  • How can you balance screen time for games that are designed to keep you playing with stepping away from technology to interact with others?

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