[PlayStation 5] Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review

by Ceidz, Owner

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara from Chibig is a 3D platforming adventure set in the archipelago of Mara in which you’ll have to save your home from pirates. Check our Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara review!

A young girl named Koa lives on a small island in the southern archipelago of Mara with her best friend Napopo.
One day, she receives a telegram from her friend Mayo asking for help. After reading the message, Koa learned that there was an emergency and quickly boarded a ship and headed for Mayo.

When she meets Mayo, Koa learns that five pirates of Mara have ravaged the island of Qälis, where many of their friends live, and that they have set up the “the trials of the pirates.” To restore Qälis, Koa and Napopo decide to take on the challenge.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review

In Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara from indie studios Chibig and Undercoders, the game begins as Koa receives a message from her friend Mayo in which she requests help to save her city from pirates invasion. She gets to the island and sees how devastated it is now, and its residents are discouraged by the events. Luckily, Koa is now there to save the day.

The world of Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is a beautiful archipelago that will be explored thanks to your boat. The game structure is linear, as your progression is impeded by a fog that must be cleared to open up new explorable areas. Clearing the fog requires you to obtain a map piece that will be awarded by completing an island by beating its boss.

About the islands, each one contains a few levels for you to complete, with some light 3D platforming sections to complete. Some will have races that you’ll have to win in order to proceed to the next one. The levels are colorful and full of obstacles, and each one will have a few collectibles. Depending on how fast you can complete the level, you’ll also get a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal – and take note you’ll likely need more than one try to achieve the Gold medal as the time limits can feel a bit on the short side.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review

As I played, I realized I liked the race levels but felt that the overall gameplay loop lacked some variety. Some levels are longer, but you end up running into the same obstacles over and over again. There are some levels that change the pace when you arrive in a new type of biome, but the game ended up leaving me wanting more. There’s also a definite issue with the camera, as often you do not see far enough ahead of you, and some levels suddenly change the camera orientation, which requires you to immediately change your button input to match the new orientation.

On the presentation side, I liked how the game was colorful and charming, and the character animations were good. On the PlayStation 5, the game runs at 60 frames per second. At first, I liked the soundtrack, with the title theme being very upbeat, but the soundtrack as a whole felt a bit lacking. Some recurring themes didn’t feel this good, and I would have liked them to shine a bit more. This would have been important for songs like that for the main town theme, which is also the main game hub.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review

This game has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. It’s also a Cross-Buy title, so those of you with a PS5 can download the PS4 and PS5 versions of Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara. The list is split into 18 Bronze trophies, 17 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies. If you want to get the Platinum trophy, then you’re going to have to 100% the game since you need to get a Gold medal on every level, find every single collectible, and purchase everything that the shops have to offer.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is a colorful game in which you’ll have to save an archipelago from a pirate invasion. The gameplay is mostly racing through each level to try and get the best time possible and then doing it again to grab all collectibles, and I would have liked more variety in the gameplay. Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is available as a Cross-Buy title, so your $19.99 purchase will allow you to download both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game at no extra cost.

This Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Chibig.

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