Developed and published by solo dev Zoroarts, prepare for what can easily be one of the most charming games I’ve ever experienced. Embark on Maki’s Adventure and explore the ocean world and everything within it. The waves are going to get really crazy, really quick.
This is Maki’s Adventure.
Take to the seas and conquer the waves!
Long ago, peace and harmony reigned in the ocean land. Three sacred sharks ruled over the waters, eradicating evil and protecting their denizens. At the end of their lifetime, the three sacred sharks selected two heirs to inherit their power. But as they passed, a terrible storm appeared and assaulted the land. The waves would churn, and the Islanders would flee in terror. Amidst the storm, the great demon octopus Octavio would appear. The two Warriors chosen would face against the demon but would soon be wiped off the face of the waves. And so begins Maki’s Adventure. The story begins with us waking up in a cell and escaping from our prison…
I want to say first and foremost that this is an amazing game coming from a solo developer. The game has a very Hollow Knight feel to it, holding to metroidvanias in terms of world design and controls. The 2D pixel art style is extremely artistically done and incorporates a lot of detail in the fore and background. Something that I truly found amazing was at certain points of the game it would transition from 2D graphics into an almost N64 style 3D graphics, specifically when you’re on the ocean. Controlling Maki is extremely fun, the movement and ability to dodge are very tight and make for quick gameplay.
What makes Maki’s Adventure so awesome?
Going a bit further with movement, Maki’s Adventure does something that I can’t think of another game pulling off. It makes water levels fun. As Maki is a shark demon, when they enter the water, they turn into a shark. This makes you move much faster; you have a bite attack that does a lot of damage and have full 360 movement. This alone blew me away. I can’t think of another game that has you participate in underwater segments and have them be fun. Major shout out and props to the developer for being, as far as I’m concerned, revolutionary.
Combat is also quick and responsive. You have a scythe that you’re able to do fast attacks with, and later you’ll be able to learn new skills to use. You have a dodge ability that is tied to a stamina meter, meaning you have limited invulnerability in the middle of a fight. Maki can also wall jump. Combining this with your dodge can have you dashing through levels at a breakneck speed.
Sharks are awesome
Now that I’ve got all the mechanical stuff out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the bells and whistles. Maki’s Adventure is, without a doubt, everything that I could possibly want in a Indie adventure game. Yes, it has good mechanics and a familiar level design, but the love is in the details here. As you play the game, you will come across quests. These moments are independent of the main storyline and serve really only to help you explore the world. And I love it. Early on, you find an old man in a library who talks about how he used to travel. Later in the game, you’ll come across someone who says that he misses his old friend on another Island. And you can take a letter from that character back to the old man in the library. T just see these character interactions is so much fun.
These quests encourage you to explore and look into every nook and cranny of every place you encounter. The 2D style really lends itself to exploration far more than I thought it would. Not blindly wandering about, but actively seeking things to do. There are also many mini games that you can play. In the first dungeon, I found a bar in a hallway where you could play darts. That’s all, nothing big or extravagant, just a simple dart game tucked into an already well designed metroidvania. There are fishing games, billiards, a section where you fly on a large bird and try to beat a fastest time. And so much more that I haven’t even uncovered yet. There’s even a dog that you can pet and buy decorative hats for.
More on the Ocean’s Horizon? I hope so.
Maybe I’m biased. Maybe I’m tired of being disappointed by AAA titles. But Maki’s Adventure is easily one of the most charming games I’ve ever played on top of being a more than competent 2D platformer. And the game isn’t even completely finished: there is a race mode I have yet to unlock and play, and two more mystery options on the main menu. Maki’s Adventure is not perfect, nor does it need to be. But I can say with confidence, that it is quite possibly the most genuine and fun game I have had the privilege of reviewing. To quote the developer ” sharks are awesome!”. And so is Maki’s Adventure.
Maki’s Adventure is available on PC through Steam. Review code provided by Zoroarts.