On the outside, Marooners may not look like an appealing purchase to the average gamer. It’s family-friendly style, easy-going gameplay and adventure design are all pointing towards a game to play with younger audiences. I believe that was the developers intention and with that being said, I must confess something – I had fun playing it.
When I’m looking for a game to play, I ask for recommendations, I look at what my favourite gaming channels on YouTube are playing. Now, if someone recommended Marooners… I give it a second thought. It’s a kid’s game, something to keep little one’s busy and the game doesn’t hide away from that but embraces it. Themes collide, with locations and characters interacting that make no sense, there’s no explanations to what is supposed to be happening or why… and it’s great.
The game is advertised as a party game, and honestly, that’s where it shines. You can’t just sit alone and go toe-to-toe with some bots to enjoy this game – although not recommended, that is an option. You need to invite your friends, your family, anyone to sit down and play it with them. You’ll have fun in game modes reminiscent of Mario Party or Smash Bros.
There is no story, nor should there be. It’s party games all the way. You earn points based on the amount of coins and rounds you win and at the end of each run-through during the podiums they are deposited towards unlocks based on level. From new quirky characters from a Shaman to a Viking, or new weapons such as a clarinet or an umbrella, the game builds on the fun tones whilst keeping it interesting the more you play.
The gameplay is fast and fun and easy to pick up, anyone can play this game. The controls are simple, and gameplay consists of moving and bashing other players over the head with a comedically-sized stick of broccoli. Each round is fast-paced, full of yelling and squeaky bonks from your weapons. Modes included are arena and party. Arena mode being the ‘beat-em-up’ mode to see who can beat the living daylights out of who first. Party mode sees the quirkier game types such as Bomberman-style fights or simply running from a rolling boulder. These take place in a plethora of levels ranging from an Indiana Jones style trapped tomb in the jungle to trying to stay atop a sinking iceberg, Marooners provides enough variety to keep things interesting.
If your idea of a multiplayer experience is limited to FPS or the like, I suggest you give a game like Marooners a try. It transports you back to a time when gaming was simpler, when you would gather your friends or family around the console and one of you ends up with the dodgy third-party rand controller. The game also features online capabilities, play with friends and strangers that are pretty much seamless as local play.
The game, however, does suffer from repetitive strain. Much like most party games, there isn’t much to be had out of it after a couple playthroughs. Soon the character’s grunts and squeaks are about as fun as being kicked in the shin. The unskippable podium sequence that forces you to watch painfully as it tallies up who won and counts out your points towards your next item becomes mundane and frustrating. Games should be far in between, or at the very least mute the damn thing.
All in all, Marooners was a pleasant surprise and provided me, my friends and my niblings with a couple of laughs and entertaining gameplay – I’m sure it could do the same for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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