HomeReviews4/5 ReviewPJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance Review

PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance Review

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The award for ‘Most lmproved Game’ goes to PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance. It’s a sequel to PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night, which wasn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination (certainly not if you were between 5 and 10 years old), but fell foul of repetition. After completing it to 100% – probably our first mistake – we never wanted to see another sticky-splat again.

PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance could easily have been a cynical ‘more of the same’. More characters, more levels, more bad guys. But while it does include those things, it takes a larger swing than that. Most importantly, it embarks on an all-out attack on repetition, effectively wiping it out completely. We wouldn’t go so far as saying that this is a game that adults should seek out – it’s not universally enjoyable in the same way as a Mario or Donkey Kong is, for example – but for a younger player, this is magic.

PJ Masks Power Heroes Mighty Alliance review 1
The PJ Masks squad are up for a Mighty Alliance

The ‘Mighty Alliance’ of the title goes a few different ways. It refers to the inclusion of five new heroes: Newton Star, An Yu, Ice Cub, Bastet and Lilyfay. Press materials mention that Armadyllan is in here, but we couldn’t find him. These are each playable and have their very own level types to enjoy. The Mighty Alliance also refers to the plot, as the bad guys of PJ Masks’ world have banded together to take our smug heroes out. And there’s a third interpretation, as the Mighty Alliance could refer to the four different level types – five, if we’re being charitable – that you get to play.

Five is significantly more than what we got in the first game. There’s the usual platforming that is reminiscent of the core gameplay from Heroes of the Night. 2D Levels wind linearly with occasionally branching paths that can be returned to, in case you want to collect everything that the level offers. Each character has ever-so-slightly different takes on the double-jump and attack (useful for swatting ninjalinos), but it’s Gekko that offers the real difference. He can sucker onto walls in sequences similar to the first game, but multiplied by three or four. They’re no longer awkward, stilted sections with little maneuverability: they’re some of the highlights, as they’re intricate vertical mazes, and the controls have been sorted.

Anyone wondering about whether things get too complex for young players should be reassured. Combat doesn’t lead to death: it only stuns you for a moment, and most of the enemies are removed once they’re hit. Levels are almost exclusively in one direction, and jumps aren’t too onerous. This is Outright Games after all, and they’ve made accessibility their mission.

The platforming levels make up about two-fifths of what’s on offer. There’s also Ice Cub and Newton Star’s levels, which play out like a 2D endless runner. You’re always moving forward, regardless of the button you press, so all you can do is fire or jump, depending on what’s hurtling your way. Ratchet and Clank fans will know what’s up here. These are simple as pie, again with no failure states as the obstacles do nothing more than stun. Your biggest challenge will be collecting all the Mask collectibles, as these are often at the end of large jumps or tucked onto divergent paths.

PJ Masks Power Heroes Mighty Alliance review 3
Get some platforming going

Neither the Ratchet and Clank levels or the platforming are particularly groundbreaking, but they are smooth as a baby’s buttock. They vary enough to keep younger players interested, while offering nothing that resembles friction. It’s so easy to get swept along – quite literally in terms of Ice Cub and Newton Star’s levels – and that’s a good sign for a game that’s dedicated to pre-teens.

The level types don’t end there. Next up is driving levels, which have you hopping into the Cat-Car and other vehicles to gather gems and dodge roadblocks. The driving is nothing more than skipping between three different lanes, making this something of a Subway Surfer. There’s an attempt to mix things up through jumps and being able to dive beneath water to get submerged gems, but mostly these are passable.

Flying levels hand you control of Owlette and Lilyfay, and they’re probably the ones that require the most skill. The action is 2D, but you have full control of the character’s movement, which might be too much for the youngest players. But anyone who has played a swimming level in a 2D Mario game will know what to expect in these levels, and they’re almost as enjoyable.

Finally, there’s boss battles, and these are where the Gekko-Mobile’s wheels come off a little. They’re neatly cinematic, like watching an episode of PJ Masks, but they’re nothing more than quick-time events, as the cartoon stops to let you hammer some buttons. As you’d expect, there’s no failure state – you can sit there staring longingly at Romeo for ten minutes, should you fancy – but they became moments to dread for our youngest. They didn’t like bashing the button as much as the game required, and they mostly just wanted to watch. For an adult, they’re a bit of a bore.

PJ Masks Power Heroes Mighty Alliance review 2
Bit chilly…

What impresses is that the variety is matched by a sense of muchness. PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance is twenty-four levels, all in, which we found to be significant. When you’re returning to the levels to find all the secret areas, masks and gems, you can multiply that number a couple of times. We’d guess that PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance is a third larger than its predecessor, which was appreciated.

Adult players can probably knock a mark off the score. This isn’t a clever or inventive game, once you get past the multifaceted structure. The platform levels don’t remix themselves particularly, outside of a reskin on the enemies and slightly more branching level design. And you’ll have played better endless runners, better racing games, and better flying games. If you were expecting more than that, though, then we’d be surprised.

But younger players can be reassured that this is made for them, with nary a niggle or frustration that would have them calling for help. PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance doesn’t patronise them with repetitive levels and a lack of jeopardy, and it’s an Owlette-sized leap from the first game. Yep, this brave band of superheroes will make your kids’ day.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Captures the spirit of the series
  • Five different gameplay types
  • Hugely accessible
  • Loads of stuff to do
Cons:
  • Adults won’t get much from it
  • Racing and boss battles are missing something
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Outright Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 15 March 2024 | £34.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Captures the spirit of the series</li> <li>Five different gameplay types</li> <li>Hugely accessible</li> <li>Loads of stuff to do</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Adults won’t get much from it</li> <li>Racing and boss battles are missing something</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Outright Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 15 March 2024 | £34.99</li> </ul>PJ Masks Power Heroes: Mighty Alliance Review
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