Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review in 3 Minutes - Chibig Talpa Games Undercoders speedrunning platformer

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review in 3 Minutes – Fast-Paced Platforming

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Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is a 3D platformer developed by Chibig, Talpa Games, and Undercoders. The game is set in the rapidly expanding Mara universe where you play as Koa, the young and cheeky lass who was also the protagonist in past Chibig game Summer in Mara. However, for this adventure, we’ve had a change in art style and genre.

In Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara, you are challenged to speedrun your way through a variety of platforming levels. The base mechanics were simple to grasp, allowing difficulty of level design to escalate nicely with each new area that was introduced. That said, the biggest struggle I came across was negotiating platform spacing versus jump height. Koa is quite small with a big jump that has little airtime and a heavy drop-off, which worked well in most settings. But in situations where failure to land would result in resetting the players progress, it created an uncomfortable tension when jumps didn’t look achievable, which didn’t match the otherwise chill vibes of the game. Better visualization of the player’s landing trajectory and a tweak to platform placement to make intended pathways more obvious would have been welcomed.

The game is short in length, taking around 5 hours to complete, but it also offers a range of side objectives to sink your teeth into if you wish to master the experience. From time trials to races against NPCs, Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara evokes that classic platformer feel that can keep you engaged beyond your first completion of a level.

For Chibig fans, this is a world and game that will feel familiar and fun. Having played Summer in Mara myself, I was always excited to see returning characters and settings from this fresh perspective. This definitely enhanced my time with the game and never felt like it would be alienating to those new to the world of Mara.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ways in which the developers approached boss mechanics, with each world and setting feeling unique and challenging in its own ways. However, nothing could have prepared me for how brutal the final level was. The game’s finale had a steep target time curve, more than doubling the average length of any other level and filled with multiple boss fights and precision platforming moments that left little room for error. More lengthy levels like this earlier in the experience would have been awesome to both challenge and prepare you for what was to come.

All in all, Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara isn’t anything new, but it’s a quick and enjoyable throwback to the platforming icons of days past. Despite some minor frustrations, I had a fun time and loved the dopamine hit from scoring a gold medal-worthy run.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is available digitally on all platforms July 27 for $19.99 with a physical release due to launch on September 29 for $39.99.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara.

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Amy Campbell
Amy Campbell is a contributor for The Escapist. She spends her days behind the scenes, helping develop video games as a Producer within the Australian game development scene. By night (or very early morning), she turns her attention to celebrating and discussing the latest wonders of the industry she loves. Having started her career in games with OnlySP back in 2018, Amy has continued to engage and critique a wide range of indie and AAA games over the years in written, video, and live-streamed formats. Highlights of her work include interviews with composer Austin Wintory and actor Michael Mando, as well as Adventure Is Nigh! – the D&D series exclusive to The Escapist. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media, Diploma of Game Design, and a Certificate IV in Fitness, making her the most game-obsessed fitness instructor you’ll ever meet.