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Marooners (Xbox)

Developed by M2H, Marooners having been released on PC (Steam) in 2016 for £7.19 (currently available for £3.59 until 13th of February) has now arrived on PS4 and Xbox One for £7.99.

Marooners is a game with a mixture of both party and arena games playable either online or offline for up to 6 players. With a colourful cartoon design, Marooners is user-friendly with an element of charm to it, appealing to all age groups. Marooners has a cheerful soundtrack and equally amiable sound effects to match.

I found that the controls are simple to use so even the kids can join in if you happen to have a few spare controllers lying around. If you don’t quite fancy playing against other people, then you always have the option of playing against 5 other AI. One thing that I did notice whilst playing is that the controls can feel a little oversensitive at times and have caused me to wobble of the side of the map unintentionally which was a little frustrating especially when you’re on a winning streak!

As you play the game and level up, you’ll unlock new characters and even more new weapons, allowing you to customise your favourite little character.

You can choose between two game types:
  • Party Mode which is where you race against the others to pick up the most treasure, even if that means stealing treasure from the others, then collect the big treasure chest at the end for a bonus.
  • Arena Mode which is where you battle against your enemies, striving to be the last one standing!
When setting up your game you can choose between a mix of the two game modes or just the one, depending on your preference. You can also choose whether it will transition from map to map one after another (linear), as you complete each one or you can choose for the game to randomly switch it up, causing chaos and confusion (chaos). You can even leave it to any and have the game decide for you!

There are over 20 maps which are randomly allocated to each session to you play and are split between the two different game modes. each of the maps is filled with dangers to avoid other than the fists of your enemies, such as perilous edges to fall off and great balls of fire being shot at you. Each map will have a different objective, such as running for your life whilst avoiding being squashed by huge boulders that are rolling after you or as the ground disappears from underneath you.

In order to help you, there are powerups dropped around the map which could provide a bomb to throw at an unsuspecting foe or an enormous pink boxing glove to ensure they are punted off the side of the map. it is definitely worth trying to pick up the powerups, they make for much more entertaining brawls (unless you're on the wrong end of it, that is). if you do happen to die unexpectedly early then you'll respawn as a ghost and be able to haunt the remaining survivors. I used this time constructively by punching as many people as possible, making them lose gold.

With only one button for combat, it essentially boils down to who can mash the "B" button quicker and soon enough, it sounds as if you're all trying to reenact a scene from "Sooty and Sweep". I should point out that this is not necessarily a bad thing; if anything, the constant squeaking only adds to the humour and ridiculousness of the bizarre looking characters hitting each other with umbrellas, rackets and tridents!

One of the best features of Marooners, for me, is the fact that there is the option of playing online! There are far too many party games in my opinion, that offer solely local multiplayer which in this day and age isn’t ideal. I am of course aware that there are costs involved in making online multiplayer and matchmaking part of a game and can therefore not be a viable option for some developers. I just don’t find myself at other peoples’ houses with the mindset to play video games anymore but perhaps that’s just me getting old!

Overall, I had a decent amount of fun playing Marooners. Although it isn’t the type of game you could sit and play for hours on end, it’s light-hearted fun and an ideal game for the kids to watch me play. My three-year old’s favourite character was fondly referred to as “the belly man”. If I had to give it a score it would be 7/10. A solid party game but the game maps do get a little too repetitive.

Marooners has 34 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A sizeable achievement list with the majority of them being unlocked by winning or playing matches. There are a few seemingly tricky achievements such as winning with a certain amount of points, but this is easy to obtain once you get the hang of it. Marooners is a straightforward completion, easily boosted by playing with like-minded achievement hunting friends. If you need any help or guidance, then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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