Picture this if you will…

The main draw in Beasts of Maravilla Island is deep exploration in a lush world, as you take pictures of cute animals, plants, and insects. The art style reminds me of ABZU which is a positive, though graphically speaking, this game isn’t so impressive. Still, the exceedingly colourful levels – nature as far as the eye can see – are immersive and stunning. In terms of a vibrant, living, breathing atmosphere, it showcases shades of Subnautica. As you might expect, it’s a very relaxing experience, a stress-free game for the family. For an indie budget title, it feels like it, but there’s lots to discover.

While taking pictures for the sake of it doesn’t seem like hooking gameplay, there’s a few hooks. You’ll find simple environment puzzles as you go along, which are cute, and engaging. You also have a lovely, hand drawn journal that goes with you everywhere, with included objectives. Constantly taking pictures is more fun than expected, with the gameplay like search and find books. There’s so much to the environments, with branching paths, you could get lost if you don’t pay attention. You’ll be very busy taking pictures.

Beasts of Maravilla Island is an exceedingly simple game. Taking pictures is easy, puzzles are easy, even walking around is simple – with no jump button, the character jumps by herself onto giant lily pads and such things. The game also includes a bit of lag at times, which was a tad dizzying. Overall, it’s a game that lacks polish, however, it barely takes away from the experience. The environment gets significantly more interesting after the opening level, expanding its creatures into the fantasy realm, and the fauna follows in suit. The beautifully colourful world keeps you glued to the tv, despite the game’s simplicity. It’s an easy adventure, a space to relax in, to find cool creatures, and take photos. The game achieves what it sets out to do, and it visually hypnotizes in the process.

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