The brothers Matt and Mike Hergaarden from M2H Game Studio, a Dutch studio known for many PC and mobile games, and on Xbox for their WW1 shooter Verdun, brings for Xbox One Marooners, a colorful and fun multiplayer game the takes inspiration from the best titles of the genre, seasoning it with an anarchic touch for some real mess! Bring your friends, be them online or local, to one of the most chaotic multiplayer experiences I’ve ever played.
- Marooners is a great new option for party games! If you had fun playing Mario Party, Fuzion Frenzy, Crash Bash (the best of all time in my opinion) or any other game in the genre, M2H won’t let you down! It has a good number of mini games to keep you engaged during gaming nights with friends!
- The gameplay is where Marooners really shines! Each mini game is quickly explained in the beginning with a “do this and don’t do that”. Simple, I know, but it is good enough for you to understand everything you need to succeed in this game. They are divided in group games and arena games. In group games, the players who picks more coins, wins the match. In arena games you must stay alive for as long as possible, while accumulating coins as time goes by. In arena you have more battle oriented mini games while in group you have more objective oriented ones, but I promise you’ll be swinging your weapons like crazy in this one too. You can choose to play in a match of only group mini games, only arena mini games or a combination of both. Each match takes 5 (in group mode) or 6 (in arena/any mode) stages to be completed. The stages are randomly selected in an old map that represents the island where the games occurs.
- Talking about the mini games, you got a nice variation of them. Arenas over ice, surrounded by lava, avoiding falling rocks, running from rocks (like the classic Indiana Jones) and many others. You can notice some inspiration on Bomberman, Crash Bandicoot and Mario Party stages, making them even better is quite an accomplishment for M2H Studios.
- Marooners offers you the option to play with your friends with up to six players in local or online modes for maximum fun (or maximum chaos, depending on the situation). No problem if you play alone or don’t have enough gaming friends: you can add some bots but know that the game should be played with competition with a beating heart.
- Graphics are very colorful and child-friendly. Although some weapons are in it, there is little to no violence in the game… except for the one that may eventually pop up between players in the couch. Music and sound effects follow the same way, being cheerful and giving the right mood to the game. Even though you won’t hear them frequently, character voices are also very funny!
- In Marooners you play as one of eight cute characters (some initially locked), select a weapon (between swords, staffs, umbrellas, telescopes, fishing rods and dozens of other crazy options, unlocked as you level up). You level up as you collect coins during gameplay so and each time you level up, you unlock one additional character or weapon. To unlock everything it will take you some serious time and effort.
- Stages load pretty fast, a good thing to keep the fire of players always lit.
- One of the main differences of Marooners from other party games is how each mini game ends and the subsequent starts: you can choose to play in Linear mode, where stages happen one after another after someone wins, Chaos mode, in which the mini game randomly changes during gameplay and a combination of both modes. While it’s something new to the genre, this Chaos mode really didn’t hook me in. The mini game changes all of a sudden and it takes some time for you to understand what’s going on with the match. Even after understanding how everything works, you don’t really see fun on it. I truly give the developer credit because there is no need to re-load a mini game after the game jumps back to it and for trying something new, but it ended up adding little value to the gameplay.
- The artificial intelligence in the game has its ups and downs. Bots are relentless when using their weapons, adding an extra challenge to the gameplay, but they frequently jump out of platforms or do something stupid.
- After some matches, you start to notice the repetition of stages. And it soon starts to bother you. When it happens, try to switch between Group and Arena matches to extend your gameplay.
- Unnecessary to say that you’ll enjoy this game much more if you have friends to play along. If you try it for yourself, you will get tired of it really fast. It’s always best to have a group of friends to play with you.
Marooners [Score: 7.8/10] With easy and fun gameplay, M2H brought us a party game suited for all ages. It offers local and online multiplayer and a good amount of content for the asking price. It has some small issues, but you will surely ignore them. The colorful island will suck you in and put your friendship at test with greedy and chaotic minigames. Your gaming nights have just got even better with Marooners!
Dev: M2H Game Studio Publisher: M2H Game Studio
Played on: Xbox One | LifeisXbox received a digital review code, provided by Game-Drive.