Beasts of Maravilla Island – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Banana Bird Studios, LLC
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Played On: PC

Beasts of Maravilla Island – Review

Site Score
Good: Unique Artstyle, Vibrant Environments & Wildlife
Bad: Very Simplistic, Lackluster Puzzles
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Beasts of Maravilla Island is a niche title at its core. While simplistic in design, the game showcases plenty of unique ecosystems and animals for players to interact with. While the game has minor issues, it can easily be overlooked for most of the playthrough. With our camera in hand, we dived into the lush environments this title had to offer.


To be fair, there’s not much story value in Beasts of Maravilla Island other than the opening cutscene before players start their journey. Players take the role of Marina Montez, a young wildlife photographer who is tasked with collecting as many pictures as she can to save the magical Maravilla Island.

Since the people’s beliefs in the mystical island are slowly fading, the island is suffering from the same fate. Because of the dwindling ‘buzz’ around the island, the area and its inhabitants are also slowly disappearing. So that’s where Marina’s photography skills come into play; to collect as much evidence as possible to revitalize the island.

The story is somewhat simple, but also bland considering the type of game it is. Sadly, other than the opening scene involving Marina and her Grandfather, there are no other characters to interact with who give any other context to the plot, which makes the story as a whole seem somewhat irrelevant and just a reason to get the ball rolling. It would have been nice to have a bit more substance.


The graphic design is easily the highlight of the game. Maravilla Island is home to many unique environments and wildlife. While the main character can’t compare at all to the vivid imagery of the world around her, it shows just how vibrant and magical the island actually is.

Ranging from multiple eco-zones, players can travel through three areas labeled the Singing Jungle, the Painted Plateau, and the Glimmering River (a personal favorite). In general, there’s always something to be in awe about. We do have to mention that some areas are very bright and could actually be hard to go through for those who are really sensitive to these types of things, thus a warning could perhaps be added here.

There are over 50 unique animals and plants in-game that players will be able to discover. While some are there just for decoration, a few can be interacted with for special missions that will be explained later on. Some of the animals, such as the Otter Crocodile (…it’s literally an Otter and Crocodile fused) which is jarring at first glance, have a staggering amount of polish and detail. The game does a great job of keeping the player surprised with the amount of wacky and unique interactions the wildlife have with the environment.


The sound design is fairly simple. As expected when traversing through the different biomes, each area has different music. The Jungle area is filled with the sounds of dense forestry and the murmurs of animals in the trees; while the Glimmering River is more tranquil, listening to the steady streams of water in the background. The animals sound authentic and vivid as expected, and in tangent with the subtle music and ambient background, it makes for an authentic experience.


Beasts of Maravilla Island is a third-person adventure game, mixed with puzzle and collectathon elements, similar to older titles such as Jak & Daxter and Beyond Good and Evil. The main goal of the game is to traverse different areas of the island, taking as many pictures as you can of the plants and creatures to fill your Grandfather’s journal, which in turn will revitalize Maravilla Island. 

The player’s main tool will be your Grandfather’s Camera, which is easily accessible and has a multitude of uses. In addition to taking pictures to keep in the journal, the camera can be used to solve many different puzzles the game throws at the player. For example, in the early stages, the player is blocked from progressing unless they use the camera’s flash to light up a specific plant, which can be figured out by reading the journal.

While simple at its core, players can do plenty of small optional objectives to boost the journal. Tasks such as taking pictures of animals doing specific things can net a hefty bonus to the journal’s appeal. While the freeform approach to solving puzzles and taking pictures complements the overall gameplay a good deal, the objectives and puzzles actually given to the player to proceed are a little bit too easy.

There are plenty of times where there was an objective that was noted in the journal that had to be done but was easily overlooked because we spent most of the time just endlessly taking pictures of everything that moved. Which in turn defeats the purpose of even using the journal in the first place. Needless to say, the game doesn’t need to be difficult at all; but there should be some other incentive to use the journal other than just keeping track of all the wildlife players have encountered so far.


Beasts of Maravilla is a wholesome experience throughout its short runtime. The amount of detail for the different environments, plants, and animals who inhabit the island carries the title. The gameplay can be fun but is easily overshadowed by how simplistic the loop is, without even having to use one of its primary tools of the game. With some added complexity and a bit more lore, this one could be a great title. For now, it’s cute but forgettable.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Beasts of Maravilla Island - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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