Marooners – Review
Follow Genre: party game, casual, indie
Developer: M2H
Publisher: M2H
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Marooners – Review

Site Score
7.6
Good: Share the game with a friend by playing it. Fast frantic gameplay
Bad: soundtrack grows stale quite fast
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Marooners as a party game is all about getting together and having fun. The definition of a party game is that it is meant to facilitate social interaction and make it easier to break the ice when the party isn’t getting ‘in the zone’. When people of the same interests interact, there’s often no need for party games as these people will inevitably find a common ground rather quickly, so a party game is often used to unite a group of complete strangers, strangers who might not be into the whole ‘let’s-all-sit-in-front-of-a-television-screen-and-get-the-highest-score-in-a-game’ thing, where griefing is allowed and even a very valid strategy. Not really a great way to start off budding friendships. To give the critter a name to go by without pooling it into the ‘indie’ category, it’s best to call Marooners a ‘party’ game as you can play it locally or against people across the world.

Marooners_Logo

Story

“Hey, what’s the deal with these characters?” One developer questioned the next. “Well, all of these characters come from different parts of the island and that’s why they are so versatile.” “Yeah, but why would they go after coins and emeralds and diamonds? There’s no economy and the island is completely shut off from other islands. These people don’t really look like they are about to bling out their rides or like they have to pay the mortgage to keep a roof over their head.” “The people playing this game know the value of the materials and that’s what matters.” This is probably how the conversation went when they were discussing the overall setting and lore of the game. The whole vibe of Marooners is basically: “It’s a party game, roll with it.” The basis is that you are supposed to play it for a short while which will make it possible for people to discuss the happenings in the matches, have a few laughs, sip their drinks and move on. This is difficult in a narrative driven game as those tend to take longer to develop strong and likeable characters, so you won’t get to see why Imi is on a quest to collect all the shinies in Marooners, but who cares, chances are she’ll get shoved off a platform halfway through her quest anyway.

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Graphics

Marooners is not a bad looking game. It’s vibrant in its color palette and yet finds a way to keep the overall mood of the game quite neutral. The level design is rather nice and hazards are obvious, making it easy for you to know what to avoid or where to push other players into. It’s a perfect balance between the stick and the carrot. You know where you can find the carrots, but you are completely aware of the stick that might prod you or others into oblivion. Characters are diverse and with quite some colors to choose from you’ll be hard pressed to find a character in your match that will look the same as you do, making it easy to spot the competition. Things can get quite frantic when everyone’s pushing and punching around to get the coins or avoid getting squashed but that adds to the whole party game essence. It’s messy, it’s over the top and it shouldn’t excuse itself for doing things that way.

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Sound

The game isn’t quite a masterpiece when it comes to the sound engineering. There’s only one track in the whole game and it loops constantly. There are games out there that have the same pitfall, only it’s a track that isn’t quite so easy to get annoyed by. The problem with the track in Marooners is that it gets repetitive quite easily. Then again you might not notice until you pay attention to it. With all the action going on onscreen, you’ll be hard pressed to pay it any attention. Once you do however, when  you are waiting for people to finish the stage for instance, it becomes irritating quite fast. The voices given to the characters are quite funny and it’s always drole to pick a different character to try for victory and get them to exclaim their quote. Those make every character unique, a cute little detail.

Gameplay

Marooners is a party game. The controls are quite easy, the arrow keys for movement, control for attacking and spacebar for jumping. Not a one hand control scheme but easy enough to remember. You can choose to play offline or online, in the offline  mode, it’s you versus either computer generated enemies, or your friends. In the online mode it’s the exact same, if there are no players around the computer takes their place, so you’ll always have someone to play with. It must be said that the A.I. players are equally aggressive as your run of the mill player, but sometimes they catch a case of the ‘random number generator influenza’ in which they just stare off into the distance and wait for you to spank them silly.

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Marooners has two playstyles, and they are completely different. There’s the ‘party mode’, in which it’s the goal to get the highest score by collecting coins and gems, and then there’s the ‘arena mode’ in which you earn points by staying alive the longest in any given situation. If you want to make either mode even more frantic then you can add the ‘chaos’ element into it. What happens then is that every so often, you’ll switch stages randomly. It might be two seconds into it or after someone has died, it’s completely unpredictable and makes for gameplay where you have to pay attention at all times to make sure you know where your position is and where the enemies are. It’s fast paced, it’s hectic and it might even be the best way to play either mode.

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After completing all the stages in a match, you’ll gain experience for the amount of points you earned by collecting valuable items or by the seconds  you stuck around for. With every level you grow you’ll unlock more items and new characters.If you are afraid of being forced to play alone, and you have at least one friend on Steam, there’s a solution to the problem. When you play the game for two hours, Marooners rewards you with a free Steam key, what better way to reward your playerbase and let it flourish while spreading some love around?

Conclusion

Marooners is a party game through and through. If you want a different way to start up a party with people who aren’t all in the know about each other, then this might be a fun way to start it up or something for later on in the evening. Be warned, if things get heated, someone might go home with the bill for a new television or pottery that needs to be repaired. It’s fun to play in short bursts and if you get around to playing it for two hours, then you get to gift a key to a friend. So there are little downsides to trying out the game.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Marooners - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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