Marsupilami: Hoobadventure (Review)

Nov 26, 2021

Developed by: Ocellus Studios
Published by: Microids
Released: November 16, 2021 (Mac, PC, Playstation, Switch, Xbox)

Marsupilami began life as a French comic in the 1950’s. The franchise became an animated cartoon in the 1990’s and 2000’s. In 1995, Marsupilami had a Genesis/Mega Drive inspired by the cartoon. Now, 26 years later, Marsumpilami is back for another game. Marsumpilami: Hoobadventure is a platformer drawing inspiration from Donkey Kong and Rayman. Consequently, Ocellus Studios created an excellent 2D platformer with accessible levels for young players and enough challenge for experienced platforming fans. Unfortunately, the amazing gameplay is over too quickly. But in the moment, Marsupilami delivers a satisfying good time.

Story

Let’s be clear, a side-scrolling 2D platformer doesn’t need an engaging story to hook players. This is helpful since Marsupilami: Hoobadventure’s story is thin. Fortunately, the deep gameplay more than makes up for the rescue the crystals story. Anyone who enjoyed the gameplay of Retro Studio’s Donkey Kong Country Returns or Tropical Freeze will feel at home in Marsupilami. The layout of the overworld is the same. One of the three selectable characters moves from node to node collecting enough feathers to unlock a boss battle stage before moving onto the next world.

Gameplay

Marsupilami is a more inviting Donkey Kong Country Returns. Jump and roll mechanics work similarly. Consequently, Players that have experience with other games in the genre will feel at home in the creative level design. And new players will find the difficulty effectively paced. Each world adds new challenges and gradually requires mastery of platformer skills previously introduced. Marsupilami introduces a tail grab that allows the character to latch onto rings. This ring mechanic starts simply, but by the final levels requires precise timing to avoid obstacles and attacks. The increased challenge from world to world creates a satisfying gameplay experience. Throughout each level the player collects fruit, 100 fruit provide an extra life. While the extra lives are plentiful, they were needed during the final few stages where platformer skills are put to the test.

Graphics & Sound

Marsupilami is a beautiful cartoony game. Graphics are bright and vibrant even in the underground levels. The animations of the three main characters convey a sense of charm and whimsy. This cartoon esthetic matches the comic and cartoon origins of the franchise. The music is upbeat and cheerful. Even though the soundtrack is limited, I was humming along throughout the game.

CONCERNS

Marsupilami is an incredibly tight playing, but short adventure. With only three worlds and about 28 stages, the longevity of the game is limited. Three worlds at a list price of $29.99 may be too steep. However, this holiday season has few approachable kid-friendly titles that are easily recommended. Microids’ Smurfs and Marsupilami both provide accessible games for younger audiences.

The game has three different characters, but they are all pallet swaps. There was an opportunity to give them each a different attack or jump for variety, but that would have changed the level design. The same is true with multiplayer. Donkey Kong and Rayman provide coop play. Marsupilami is single-player only. This limits the family play, but again the tight level design would require a significant rework to allow coop. These are limitations on the game, but taken for what it is Marsupilami is an incredible platformer experience.

Short by satisfying adventure

While it is a short game, each level is crafted with care. Resulting in a brief but beautifully satisfying experience. The game is a tightly crafted, spot-on 2D platformer. Unfortunately, it is over quickly. Marsupilmai gets high marks in the moment, I only wish there was more adventure to be had.

SCORE: 8.0

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