We’ve been lucky enough to have a selection of party based games arrive on console recently, and from out of nowhere, M2H have surprised us with Marooners. I won’t lie, I had no idea it was even being developed. So waking up to a copy of the games key in my email was a pleasant surprise. A party game that can be played online, or even offline in local multiplayer with emphasis on winning via any means necessary. Big question; what is it like?
First off, the AI needs to be addressed. It’s really not up to scratch, as more often than not, I watched them endlessly walk into walls or even off the arena I was playing on. On the flip side, the AI could easily destroy you in seconds if it was having an on day. The balance needs to be looked into, as it creates an erratic playing field. That said, they are essential if you have no friends to play with in either online or local play. So at least they serve a purpose as they have a use in that respect.
There’s a whole batch of unlockables to, well unlock. Plenty of new characters and weapons which are of a cosmetic variety rather than giving a change of stats etc. So at least the playing field is level and forces you to test you skills instead of picking the best for the job.
Gameplay is fast and frantic in every round, leaving you no chance to catch your breath as you rush around trying to collect all them gems and coins to beef up your score to claim victory. One round could see you fly into an almost unattainable lead, only to see you fall behind for the remaining rounds. There’s no guarantee that you will win, and to be fair, Marooners is a bit of fun with a friend or two. Chuck in some AI bots for good measure, and it can become quite hectic with 6 cartoon avatars rushing about fighting over coins and gems, and that’s without talking about collectible weapons. Bombs, boxing gloves and a magnet to suck up nearby coins will inevitably be fought over as you strive to win.
For what it’s worth, Marooners is fun. But you will need a friend or several to really enjoy the game, as with the pesky bots, you never know how well they will perform from one round to the next. It doesn’t break the mold and do anything new, but what it does provide is entertainment. If you’re just here for the achievements, then I’ve got good news for you. They’re actually really easy, albeit there are some grinds involved. I had a lot unlock throughout my first couple of hours without any real effort. So there’s a bonus for all you achievement hunters.
Visually, the game offers a very bright coloured palette that will certainly grab the kids attention, and as it’s a family friendly game, you’d happily let your kids join in, if only for that easy win. The soundtrack is pretty repetitive, and I did end up turning down the volume towards the end of my run. As for the controls, it does feel as though they need tightening up a bit, and the attack button doesn’t feel quite as responsive as it could have been when attacking another player as the attacks seem to go right through them from time to time.
The game offers great value for money at its price point, and given how many games you could play on it, it’s a no brainer really. Even if you’re just out for achievements.
Overall, Marooners is a decent enough game that needs some extra attention to certain areas of the game to make it run smoother regarding the AI controller bots. Not a terrible game by any means, and there are other party based games available that may grab your attention first over Marooners. But for family friendly action, it passes the test and isn’t hard to get to grips with by any stretch. It’s cheap too, so if you’ve got the cash, grab it. Or if you’re an achievement hunter, then it may be worth a purchase too.
Overall Score 6/10
Release Date: 6th February 2018
File Size: 912MB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose
Available on Xbox One & Steam