Marsupilami: Hoobadventure is a surprisingly decent platformer.
Although it’s rated E with a design that seems geared towards a younger audience, the gameplay is actually fairly challenging. Honestly, while it looked cute, I was expecting a run-of-the-mill platformer. And although Marsupilami: Hoobadventure certainly checks a lot of the boxes that you would expect from a generic platformer, it manages to do so while remaining entertaining and charming.
Crash Bandicoot meets Donkey Kong Country
If you think you’ve played games like this before, it’s because you have. Marsupilami: Hoobadventure has a Super Mario Bros. 3-style overworld map where you select levels. You collect peaches that look a lot like Wumpa fruit from Crash Bandicoot. You also get Donkey Kong Country vibes; birds shoot your character around the map like the barrels from DKC. Finally, there is a slight touch of Sonic the Hedgehog with a charging spin.
Most of the levels on the map have an Adventure option with a Time Trial that unlocks after you complete the level at least once. The Adventure levels each have a ton of collectibles in the form of fruit, feathers, and large secret chests. So if you like to collect a lot of stuff, you will feel right at home here. The only minor complaint I have here is that the rewards for the effort do not really feel all that… well… rewarding.
Enemies are dispersed logically throughout the levels; you will sometimes need to bounce on their heads or back to reach platforms or clear a gap between sections of the level. For the most part, though, you can just ignore them since they do not drop anything and the game does not seem to track how many enemies you bonk on the head.
Plus, there are bonus levels that you can unlock with tickets that you earn throughout the game. Another type of level is the Dojo. These are timed challenges where you need to quickly go through rings on a map with a fixed camera angle. The goal is to clear the map of all of the rings, which are collected in a specific order.
Each of the game’s three worlds is capped off with a boss fight. Combined with the Adventure and Dojo levels, there is a decent amount of variety here. The main drawback is that you can beat this game in a few short hours. The Time Trials add some replay value but only marginally.
The game takes place in an unnamed Latin American country. Some of the concept art mentions favelas, and it’s obvious that a Brazilian tropical inspiration is central to the game’s identity with upbeat music and bright, vibrant colors. There is also a bit of San Francisco character to the urban environment with lots of hills and multi-story buildings.
Overall, the graphics are far from cutting edge, but they do look visually appealing. Children will certainly get a kick out of the characters. On the other hand, I found the music somewhat repetitive – but again, it fits the theme that they are going for with this game really well.
Marsupilami: Hoobadventure will not win Game of the Year, but it is a short and fun non-violent game that is perfect for both kids and their parents (or just platformer enthusiasts more generally). You can pretty easily beat it in one sitting if you wanted to or you could spread it out over a weekend.
Game Freaks 365 received a review copy.