KarmaZoo Review: A Co-op Platformer with Potential, but Room for Improvement
4 mins read

KarmaZoo Review: A Co-op Platformer with Potential, but Room for Improvement

A cooperative journey through the whimsical world of KarmaZoo can be exciting and unpredictable. This platformer, teeming with hazardous perils, time constraints, and even dinosaurs, places a heavy emphasis on teamwork. However, its success is contingent on the alignment of various factors, making it a game that shines when everything falls into place.

First Impressions

Having had the opportunity to play KarmaZoo ahead of its official launch, my initial experience was less than stellar. The game’s situational nature became evident, especially when attempting to tackle it solo. Playing alone leaves little room for meaningful engagement, with the only recourse being the expenditure of hard-earned hearts. The true essence of KarmaZoo comes alive when playing with at least one other person, either in the local competitive Totem mode or the online cooperative Loop.

Challenges of Solo and Small Group Play

Despite the game’s promise to adapt to player size, I encountered challenges when playing with just one companion. The stages, seemingly tailored for larger groups, often became unreasonably difficult due to time constraints and being stuck with the basic Slime character. Navigating complex platforming sections, especially those requiring separation to trigger switches, became a formidable task that ate into our precious time.


Post-Launch Improvements

Post-launch, KarmaZoo’s experience improved, yet remained heavily reliant on resources. All players start as Slimes with basic abilities, such as singing to trigger switches, double jumping, and leaving tombstones upon death. However, unlocking other character roles becomes crucial for enhanced cooperation and success. Unique abilities, like a plant person growing into a platform or raptors with speed, add depth to the gameplay. The Loop format consists of four stages, each with a 300-second time limit, where collaboration is essential for progress.

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Strategic Fruit Gathering

Before each stage, players have a brief opportunity to catch fruit, which influences subsequent perks through group voting. Strategic fruit collection adds an element of planning and cooperation to the game, enhancing the overall experience.

Cooperative Dynamics

In the Loop, staying close to other players generates a protective Halo, allowing revival upon death. This cooperative element is central to KarmaZoo’s success, as players navigate through challenging environments, trigger switches, and collect keys. The primary challenges revolve around precise platforming, especially in sections with spikes or crumbling platforms.

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Ideal Player Count

The game’s optimal player count appears to be around six, facilitating effective pairing for Halo generation or dividing into two groups of three. Fewer players increase the likelihood of distraction, deaths, and subsequent failures.

Totem Mode Assessment

While Totem mode offers an additional competitive aspect, it lacks the universal appeal found in popular party games like Mario Party. The minigames, often involving platforming or fruit collection, may not resonate as strongly with players as the main Loop mode. It feels more like an optional inclusion rather than a standout feature.

KarmaZoo presents a noble cooperative gaming experience, but its situational nature can hinder the seamless enjoyment of its potential. Success depends on finding a dedicated group of friends or hoping for a random session filled with cooperative and experienced players. While the game’s stars align for some, others may find the experience less than ideal. Approximately two-thirds of my gameplay sessions fell into the latter category.

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KarmaZoo offers an intriguing concept that could benefit from refinements to enhance accessibility and universal enjoyment.

KarmaZoo is available on the PS5, Switch, Xbox Series X, and PC.

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