Review | Marbles: Razor’s Wrath

Review | Marbles: Razor’s Wrath

LifeisXbox’sMarbles: Razor’s Wrath review | Marbles: Razor’s Wrath is the result of the hard work that Daniel Godlewski has put into the pursuit of being a game designer. With a bachelor’s degree under his belt, he founded Independent Games Limited under which name he developed and published Marbles: Razor’s Wrath. Citing games like the classic Crash Bandicoot and thrilling Mirrors Edge Catalyst as some of his inspirations to wanting a shot at making games himself, who can blame him. By now, Marbles: Razor’s Wrath has been out for a year and Daniel is already working on its first DLC “The Cognition”. While you can see more on that over on the Independent Games Limited website, let’s discuss what’s already here in the review below.

ℹ️ | We played Marbles: Razor’s Wrath for 3 hours on Steam. This game is only available on PC.

What we liked!

  • Gameplay | Marbles: Razor’s Wrath is a collect-a-thon platformer at heart, and you’ll be doing it in roughly equal measure. Your main goal is to help Miss T gather the crystals she’s lost before the evil Razor can get his hands on them.  Your marble power allows you to freely roll around the levels (well duh). You also have access to a double jump to reach ever so slightly farther than you could before. It does the trick but often underperforms vertically. With these basic movement options, you’ll traverse all manner of parkours in the game. All of this parkour will be in pursuit of various collectables. These can be the skulls you see spread across the map, which is used in the hub world to open the path to new levels where you can find the aforementioned crystals. These are hidden throughout the various worlds in hard to reach places, often at the end of platform paths. Then lastly, there’s also a bunch of cosmetics for your marble. You’ll not always find a crystal at the end of a platforming section, in which case you’ll often find a treasure chest with a hat or colour in it.
  • Ghosts | In every level of Marbles: Razor’s Wrath you’ve got a ghost hiding in every world. When I encountered my first one it was trying to hide from me behind some trees. One wild chase later, and I’d finally caught up to it. Much to my surprise, it rewarded me with a cosmetic to decorate my marble with. Not all subsequent ghosts ran, but it was always a challenge to seek them out and catch them.

Somewhere between

  • Audio | The audio in Marbles: Razors Wrath has me with really mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s charming how the voice actors (I count two) did all of the voices, with all the hilarity that follows. The totems of the elders cracked me up every time they would unlock a new area. On the other side, there are the same two or three desert tracks playing on loop constantly. They’re just long enough to not become annoying, but it is noticeable.

What we disliked

  • Combat | On your journey you’re also opposed by Razor and his minions. These marbles wearing a sawblade will generally home-in and orbit while shooting projectiles at you. They are however easily dealt with. A swift ground pound on top of their head will do the trick and put them out of commission. That is of course until you find any of the three elemental powerups in the game. Each level only has one, and there’s three in total. Both fire and water act identical, shooting out some extra projectiles after a ground pound which will home-in to your enemies. The lightning one is slightly different in that it creates a small AO around you that stuns enemies. This is a very simple take to combat, which should make it easy to pick up, but it’s sadly impeded quite a lot by rigid controls and poor momentum when moving. On top of that, the constant cat and mouse game I had to play to get my kills got stale quickly.
  • Big bad Razor | Conversely, where the minions get too easy, the fight with Razor is disproportionately hard. Fighting Razor himself is quite easy. His attacks are well telegraphed and easily dodgeable in the first phase. From the second phase onwards, however, he introduces a lot of homing projectile attacks, on top of introducing four or so minions to the same arena, all with their own homing projectiles. You do get given the right power to deal with each, but by the time you reach the water element you get walled in. You can’t touch the walls because you’ll take damage. But they don’t go down fast enough for you to move freely enough with the next wave of minions that are introduced. So while you’re dodging those walls, plus the smaller ice wall from the minions, Razor also starts doing a one-hit kill spinning sword attack. These are all stuff you can deal with on their own, but not when they come together.
  • Graphics | The graphics and world are sadly just plain bad. You start out in a desert wasteland in your hub world. From which you travel to another desert wasteland, only this time it’s a long linear path with side challenges. World number 2 is, you guessed it, another desert wasteland. Now no longer linear. And so on until the end. Mostly everything you see in-game is also bought from an asset pack. In and of itself, that’s not inherently a bad thing. It does mean you’ll see the same models return ad infinitum.

How long to beat the story | 2.5 hours
How long to get all achievements | Not applicable
Similar with | Glyph

54%

Marbles: Razor’s Wrath tries its best with what it’s got, and I commend Daniel for his efforts. Sadly, the cons outweigh the pros on this one. However, despite all that you can see the passion that has gone into making Marbles: Razor’s Wrath in all corners of the game. And for me at least, that pushes the complete picture over the line to give it a passing score.
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