Marsupilami: Hoobaventure (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Marsupilami is a European comic book character who is a fictional animal with leopard like spots and a trademark super long tail.  And he says “Hooba” a lot.  Die-hard Disney Afternoon fans like myself might remember some trailer bumpers advertising the block with Marsupilami spelling out the Disney Afternoon logo with his tail.  And I remember Marsupilami having some shorts on the Saturday Morning Raw Toonage show (but I think they were pretty annoying).  But that’s all the notoriety that character has had in the US.  But in Europe he’s had comics, multiple cartoons, a movie, and tons of merchandise.  And now he has his own video game, a 2-D platformer very similar to Donkey Kong Country.  In the game, an evil pirate skeleton thing has hypnotized all the animals, and now it’s up to Marsupilami to stop him!  The game is available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

In the game you can play as three characters.  The main one, a female version, or one with all black fur.  Sorry I don’t know their names, but they all play the same.  You can run and jump, and do that roll move like in DKC games (you can even roll off ledges to get a longer jump), as well as do wall jumps, stomp on enemies, or just hit them with your tail when you’re standing still.  Your long tail is also handy for grabbing onto hooks or turning into a drill for ground pounds.  Overall play control is very solid and rivals even the Donkey Kong platformers.  If Nintendo wanted to make another Donkey Kong Country game and Retro Studios wasn’t available, the developers of this game would be a good fit, too.

You’ll travel through three worlds with about half a dozen levels in each.  You’ll explore coastal Spanish villages, a jungle, and some ruins.  Collect fruit to get extra lives, and you’ll get a ton!  Each level also has five hidden feathers and a rainbow rock to find, so there’s some replay value to be had.  Collect these items to unlock hidden levels and artwork in the gallery.  After beating a level, you can also replay it in Time Trial mode.

The game does have some small, minor problems.  They don’t really tell you what each collected item does, you just have to figure it out on your own.  They also don’t tell you which pits will lead you downward or which ones are death pits.  And the game is pretty short and easy at only three worlds with about a half a dozen levels in each.  But the game is really meant for kids, so that’s OK.  If you enjoy Donkey Kong Country style games but find them too difficult (Hey, even I thought the last two games: Returns and Tropical Freeze, were way too hard), then you may enjoy this one.

Kid Factor:

Marsupilami: Hoobaventure is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence.  Defeated characters either fly off the screen or poof into smoke, but that’s about it.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, but not necessary just to play.  The game has three difficulty modes, one where you take two hits, three hits, or are completely invincible.  But falling into pits is what usually gets you, so younger gamers still may need help with the trickier jumps.  Luckily only the last few levels get really difficult, but I was still able to beat them on Normal.

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