So this game popped up on my Games with Gold last month, I believe. I did not know anything about it but decided to give it a download and check it out. With it being advertised as a party game I figured it could not hurt. During the summer my 10-year-old cousin comes and stays most of the day at our house and loves video games. I am always looking for age-appropriate games for me and him to play together and figured this might be a good one. It resembles Knight Squad and he gets a kick out of that. With the price being free at that moment I downloaded because I can only take so much Roblox! So, let us wait no longer and get into this hidden gem.
What is Marooners...
That is easy to answer, Marooners is fun. Plain and simple. Oh, it also started out as Global Game Jams game and won the National award in the Netherlands. It is a Unity 3D based party game developed by M2H ( Vedrun | Tannenberg | Crash Drive). Marooners allows you to play with up to six friends in online or local play. You can play in a more relaxed Party Mode or go for the knock out in Arena mode. M2H knew they needed to do something to set them self apart from other party games so they came up with the Switcheroo mechanic.
The Good Ol' Switcheroo...
The Switcheroo mechanic is truly something else. You will be in the middle of the round collecting coins and getting ready to jump out of the way when…boom…you are whisked away to another play area on the map. Then at a random point, you are sent to another map. This could be a new one or it can drop you right back in the same spot you were at on a previous map as if time froze. This drastically changes the pace of the game because it requires the player to recall what was going on that map prior to the switch. For example, if you were about to dodge falling blocks and knew that you needed to go left to avoid being squished. Right as you are about to do that the game performers a Switcheroo and transports you to a new map. Before that round ends you get sent to another map then get transported back to your original map. Quick, what way did you need to run to not smashed by those blocks we talked about earlier? This is a feature that can be turned on or off depending on how you like the mechanic. One thing for sure is that it adds a sometimes frustrating but challenging twist to either game mode.
You can pick one of the two game modes, Party or Arena, to play or even set it to randomize the mini-games between the two modes. Between the two modes, you get twenty-five different mini-games and arena maps. Party mode will have players racing across the board collecting all the coins and gems that you can while Arena mode will have you and your friends beating each other up to be the last Marooner standing. There is another cool feature I like that changes either mode of gameplay. The ghost feature brings you back into play as a ghost after being eliminated. In this ghost form, you won’t be able to collect gems or coins, but you be able to hamper the other players’ efforts by trying to knock them off the board with one of the many unlockable weapons.
Weapons and Characters...
When you first load up your character will have their main starting weapon equipped. As you progress, you will unlock up to seventy different weapons. These include things like T-Rex bones and giant pencils. As far as I could tell there is no difference in the weapon performance and this is purely cosmetic. My cousin would argue just the opposite…and trust me he has. But no matter how many times he says the white T-Rex bone is better than the brown T-Rex bone, he is mistaken.
You will start with four characters unlocked to choose from. As you play you will quickly unlock the other four characters. Each character is funny and very unique. My favorite was Oenk, the caveman. My daughter said it looked like me. I just loved the chicken on his head that would flap his wings when I jumped. There are many subtle details like this that the developers put in. Players can choose from a range of colors to modify the appearance of their characters. This will mainly change the appearance of the clothes but may also change other aspects of the character, such as skin tone. The player can even choose what weapon you want to load out with.
I’m going, to be honest. Something happened that made me like this game even more than I thought I would. While playing it my three-year-old goblin came into the room and asked what I was playing. I told her and she asked if she could play. I told her of course and we made her character.
She has “played” games with me many times. But this time was different, she really played. With the ghost feature, she was respawned and able to keep playing. This gave me more time to explain what she needed to do. After a few rounds, she started to understand her character movement on the screen. She realized that she was actually playing and the look and gleam in her eyes were priceless. Shortly after that, she started to get the hang of collecting gems and would even tell me what I needed to do at the start of a map. She even placed in the top a few times.
I’m not going to lie, I kind of got misty-eyed when I looked over at her smiling and playing. She looked me dead in the eye and said: “Daddy I’m an adult now, cause I’m a gamer girl.” That made me realize that even though I did enjoy the game they loved it. It created an emotional moment through its gameplay and that is what games use to excel at. Since that day my daughter has told every person that she sees about how she a gamer now and plays games with her daddy and plays them for real not pretend. My cousin told his dad all about the game and acted out moments that he thought was funny and stuck in his mind.
This is why I am rating this a Must Buy. If these two kids enjoyed this game so much then it is well worth that rating. It might not be story or mechanic deep but it is a party game. It doesn’t need to be, especially if you are playing with kids. The graphics are good and the controls are simple. They stay the same through all game modes so that kids can remember what they need to do. So if you are looking for a good family party game check this out. It is available on Steam, Xbox, and PS4 for 9.99. Well worth the price.
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GamerDad181 “That is all, game on!”