Talk about your interesting video game subjects. Marsupilami isn’t exactly a character that can be spoken in the same circles as, say, Garfield and Spongebob Squarepants. This long-tailed marsupial actually got his start way back in 1952, in a comic that was launched in the French-Belgian market. And yet, in various international markets, he’s a hit. He even got his own Sega Genesis game in the 90s, while a few gamers were wondering just who the hell Marsupilami was. (Including myself.)
But it’s great that the character is still getting good circulation, in spite of the fact he doesn’t have a long-running Saturday morning cartoon series or his own cereal (can you imagine a cereal with marshmallow tails?). And now he’s back in a new PlayStation 4/5 game called Marsupilami: Hoobadventure, and it follows the status quo of the Genesis game, but in a much prettier vein.
The game has the hero venturing out against enemies and using his tail to get out of certain situations in creative manners. This doesn’t exactly have the greatest story attached to it, but it’s not out to please hardcore audiences looking for a tale to read. Instead, it’s built on the principles of being a fun, colorful platforming adventure. And there, it truly succeeds.
A 2.5-D Triumph
Some of you may be familiar with 2.5-D in platforming games. That’s where the world is in 3D, but you strictly move in a 2D fashion, across pre-set levels that play out like, say, the classic Super Mario games of old. Marsupilami works because of this, as I think that a 3D game would’ve made his tail abilities a wee bit complicated.
This allows the developers to create a fun, colorful world that seems like Marsupilami’s speed. The islands can look a bit similar in some places, but they’re no doubt ideal when it comes to showcasing the tropical settings in which he’s venturing.
I was also a fan of the level designs, as they have you thinking about how to get out of situations in some manners. Nothing’s ever too difficult, though, and despite occasional jumps in getting a bit harder, the game still remains a treat to look at and get through. And the enemies never look too frightening, making this a perfect game for kids.
Backing that up is some fun, if slightly unmemorable, music that seems to be something out of Marsupilami’s world, like a comic book brought to life. The sound effects are all right too, but lacking when it comes to showcasing the character’s personality. But giving him a cartoony voice would’ve probably made him a bit annoying, to be honest. His tail pretty much does the expressions for him.
Not an Incredible Amount of Things To Do, But It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
I will admit that Marsupilami: Hoobadventure is a bit on the short side. There are only three worlds to explore here, each with about a handful of levels. Dedicated players should be able to beat it in a matter of three to four hours (I was closer to four here). Fortunately, there are some fun collectibles to find along the way, as well as bonus levels that can put your platforming skills to the test. (They may not be as terrific as Crash Bandicoot’s, but they do add some flair to the game.)
Once you beat the main game, you can unlock a time trial mode, taking on levels in the fastest time possible. It’s a great test for speed runners, or for those that truly want to unlock everything that the game has to offer. For some though, it might be a breeze.
All of this ties around gameplay that works really well for the character. There are general platforming abilities to be sure, but there’s also excellent use of his tail, as we mentioned. This includes swinging, wall jumping and more. And the earlier levels set you up for the later ones to come, which require a bit more precision when it comes to getting through the game. But, again, the difficulty is balanced enough that the game never becomes as infuriating as, say, Crash 4. And that’s a plus.
Learn More About the Marsupilami With Hoobadventure!
While Marsupilami: Hoobadventure isn’t nearly as recognizable – or lengthy – as other, more superior platforming games on the market, it’s got some charm to it. The gameplay works on all the right levels, the difficulty balances just right, and the presentation is just enough to put a smile on your face. It may not be your top choice when it comes to platformers, but give it a shot. This tail might just grow on you.
VIBE Rating: 3.5/5
Streamer and Cosplay Enthusiast