Review: Marooners (PS4)

Review: Marooners (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Marooners
Format: PSN (396 MB)
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: M2H Games
Developer: M2H Games
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Marooners is another party game for the PlayStation 4, but this one does things a little differently with a small but defining twist. As I played with my family, the action jumped between multiple minigames at random times. It could be as a boulder bears down on us in an Indiana Jones-style chase through an Aztec temple, or a block bashing dig in a never-ending dash downward.

My kids like the lily pad game where everyone has to keep moving since their weight causes the pads to sink. They pop back up after a short time but there is always a deadly trailing gap left behind each player.

There’s an option to play each experience to the end before the game switches but that seems dull in comparison. Half of the fun is trying to remember where your strange little character is and where the dangers were as the game switches back.

Some of the minigames are luck based while others require a modicum of skill, especially if you want to grab some coins and gems. Because as it turns out, it doesn’t matter if you die in every little game, it’s what you’ve accumulated along the way. This infuriated my wife as we all died many times but knocked her character all over the place beforehand, causing her to drop some loot that we all picked up.

There is no teamwork in this game which is a shame as my family likes to team up, usually against me. Marooners has a few characters to unlock, which we did in just a few matches. After that, it’s just some cosmetic weapons which is a shame as varying attributes would have made the grind worthwhile.

There are bots if you wish to play the game on your own but they obviously don’t compare to the fun and social aspect of playing with friends or family. More on that in the multiplayer section, but I will mention one thing now, everyone gets Trophies.

That’s right folks, there are countless other multiplayer games that only allow the first player to get the virtual awards, and even many that don’t allow other players to use their PlayStation ID’s.

Well, Marooners is full of Trophies, and with four local players they were going off frequently. It did become a problem in some of the bite-sized games as the entire screen was being utilized and they got in the way many times.

It wasn’t just the Trophy notifications that obscured the play area, the UI got in the way too. It didn’t help that the game refuses to pan out or adjust to keep everyone in view.

Visuals:
Marooners works well enough when it counts, during the bite-sized games, but stutters when swapping between each one. Bright and colorful characters and levels combine to make a pretty but sometimes confusing cluster of mayhem.

Audio:
The game makes use of the speaker on the DualShock 4 to a small degree with the player’s character making one or two noises through it. Music and sound effects are of a decent standard but nothing spectacular.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is designed to be played with a group of people, but sadly every attempt at playing online with up to five other players had me sitting in an empty lobby with no one ever dropping in. I was able to easily switch between a European and American server but neither had any players, maybe this is the first detrimental effect of Brexit?

Local play with a total of four players is where the game is at its best. Sadly, the best this game can muster is a couple of mildly enjoyable games while we unlock the characters and see each one of the minigames. After that, the game grows stale rather quickly.

Conclusion:
Marooners is an average game with a nice idea. Randomly switching between each minigame is fun for a short time but as my wife stated, “It’s hard enough to see what’s going on at the best of times, then the game changes back and forth and I’m completely lost.”

It isn’t broken, and might be fun for some, but this family struggled to eek out any enjoyment past two sessions. I’m glad to see the inclusion of bots so I can enjoy the game on my own but they just don’t have any real skill or personality and don’t compare to the real thing.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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