Second Maze – Milo and the Magpies [Hivemind Review]

Milo and the Magpies is a point-and-click game created by Second Maze.

Milo and the Magpies load screen depicts the rooflines of a European town.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: about an hour

Price: $1.99

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Your job is to guide Milo, a lost kitty, back home while avoiding hostile magpies and other hazards. To do so, you search a series of nine scenes for hotspots that trigger animations, reveal information, and/ or collect objects to use with other hotspots. Each scene has a central puzzle to solve in order to progress to the next scene.

You need to purchase through Steam and play on a laptop or desktop computer.

Beautiful illustration of a backyard behind a house, a koi lives in a pond, a magpie sits atop a shed.

Fro’s Reaction

A magical, touching, and relatable take on the tale of a journey home, Milo and the Magpies felt like a game wrapped in a storybook. The artwork was remarkable, the music was elegant and minimalistic, and the interactions with the characters evoked pure joy. Gameplay was broken into chapters, with the first chapter serving as an approachable onboarding to the way the game functioned. Puzzles had a modest level of difficulty and relied heavily on search and observation. While enjoyable, their main purpose for me was to advance an adorable narrative filled with cute cartoon animals. The ending was a poignant reminder that when it really matters, we have the power to lift each other up, sometimes literally.

It’s not always easy to quantify why a game is good, and instead it’s better to simply say how it made me feel. Milo and the Magpies made me feel damn good, and I can’t wait to see more from Johan and Second Maze.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Milo and the Magpies was the point-and-click game equivalent of a warm hug. Everything about this game was delightful. From the hand-drawn aesthetic to the calming score and every charming interaction, this game was just so pleasing from start to finish. Though not a puzzle-heavy game, the narrative was sweet and simple. The objective was always clear and it had some very cute aha moments throughout. I’ve played a ton of these types of games over the years, both on desktop and mobile, and this one might be in my top 10. Not for complexity. Not for clever mechanics. Simply for the feeling I had while playing and the warm glow that lingered even after I completed it. If you need a smile today, play this game.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

This is a difficult review to write. Not because I’m unsure how I feel about this game; no, it’s because my editors won’t let me just link to a thesaurus page for the word “happy” and leave it there.

For real, though. Milo and the Magpies is an absolute delight from start to finish – I don’t think I’ve ever been this purely happy while playing a game before. It’s a short game at only 9 stages, but each one is a little thing to be treasured. You solve puzzles by clicking on objects in the environment. Solving a puzzle creates a path for Milo’s progression. No puzzle was particularly difficult, and I didn’t find a single fail state. You don’t play this game for a mind-bending challenge (though each stage does contain a hidden bonus objective/ achievement); you play it because there’s a cute cat that is lost and you are the only one that can help him get home again. Trust me, this one will make you smile.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Milo and the Magpies is a beautiful experience that will fill your evening with laughs, gasps, and heartfelt “awww”s. The disarming artwork, comforting music, archetypal storyline, and simple gameplay mechanics yield something akin to an interactive animated short. As a quasi-omnipotent observer, you nudge Milo’s journey along by poking characters into action and moving inventory items around the screen. Although there is light solving involved in these efforts, clicking the hotspots inevitably triggers a majority of what needs to happen. The most complex interactions involve making simple connections and then timing your clicks correctly. This isn’t a game to play for a challenge, but rather for the entertaining and endearing moments that the puzzles unlock. As in the best animated shorts, you care about the characters and storytelling not from any lengthy conversations (there’s very little text) but rather from the emotion in their expressions and the sincerity of their actions. Indeed, after getting to know Milo just a bit, you will genuinely care about helping the poor kitty out of his scrapes to find his way home.

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