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Summer In Mara's nostalgic and speedy platforming follow-up is out today

Koa And The Five Pirates Of Mara is a throwback to the Crash Bandicoots and the Super Mario 3D Worlds you might love

Little girl runs while carrying a bomb in a screenshot from Koa And The Five Pirates Of Mara
Image credit: Chibig

Summer In Mara was a pleasant crafting, farming, exploring mash-up, but its follow-up is steering the ship in a slightly different direction. Koa And The Five Pirates Of Mara isn’t the snappiest name, but the trailer below might get stuck in your noggin if you’re a sucker for: high-speed collectathoning, tropical summer settings, 3D platforming classics from the noughties, or any combination of those three things. And the game’s happily out right now.

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Koa And The Five Pirates Of Mara comes courtesy of three Spanish teams: Talpa Games, Undercoders, and Chibig, who were also behind Summer In Mara. Some familiar faces from their previous sunny layabout show up, but this time you navigate the world through jumping, running, rolling, and all the other verbs you’d expect from a throwback platformer such as this one.

What exactly is the game throwing it back to? Well, in a recent press release, the development trio points to the obvious inspirations pulled from Crash Bandicoot and the other platformers that mix limited camera movement with 3D levels. That allows for more natural side-on fun, and as an added bonus, you don’t need to wrestle with the camera that bogs down countless other jump-and-runners.

As is tradition, the game’s eight worlds all have their own themes and secrets to collect. You can also upgrade your boat (to reach new parts of the overworld) and the city hub (to get new outfits for the titular mascot.)

I played the game’s demo earlier this year and really enjoyed the speedy movement, constant variety, and general good vibes. But most platformers live or thrive based on how well they reuse obstacles in increasingly interesting and complex ways. I’m interested to see how Koa And The Five Pirates Of Mara expands in the full game, which is out today on Steam and consoles.

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