Genre: Party, Arcade, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 07/02/20
Price: £11.69 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
So when it comes to party games, I feel like the Switch is a bit of a party magnet, with its ability to use tabletop mode and being a great console to play with your friends or family in local multiplayer. Most people these days have more than one set of joy-cons too, making this the ideal party console for local or couch co-op. There have been quite a few party games on the system already and some have fared better than others.
Marooners has only recently appeared on the eShop but is this a great party experience or should it be marooned by its self? Let’s find out.
Party mode sees you playing multiple mini games in rapid succession: think of it as a sort of gold rush mode, as you bounce to different mini-games, collecting as much treasure as possible before moving on to the next one. Each round will start you in a new game, then a few seconds will pass and you’ll be moved on to the next game via the map screen, which appears as the transition between games. The main focus here is to collect all gold coins and gems, all the while hitting your opponents and trying to either knock them off platforms or into hazards to score their loot.
After a little while, a huge golden idol will appear allowing you to score even more points if you can get your hands on it. When you swap to new levels and back again, you continue where you left off and this is where you might meet your end. If you do die you’ll come back as a ghost, while you can’t collect any more treasure, but you can knock or hit other players off platforms so they can join you in the afterlife. This mode also has two settings: linear and chaos, which changes the speed of the swapping mechanic for more chaotic matches with friends off and online.
Arena mode is more focused on fighting than collecting, as each arena skips the collecting aspect and is all about punching your opponents off platforms or into hazards like lava or bottomless pits to kill them off. You will also be able to find purple boxes scattered about each arena that contain extra weapons to cause mayhem with.
While this mode is a fun distraction, out of the two modes I personally enjoyed the party mode a lot more as collecting and stealing treasure from others made matches a lot more fun. However, my nephews preferred arena mode.
In my personal opinion, the arena mode was okay…but I would have preferred if each of the characters had their own attacks or abilities, which I think would have made this fighting mode a little more varied and exciting.
Multiplayer, local and online
The game supports up to 6 players online and off, which is a pretty good option allowing everyone the ability to join the party if they have enough controllers. It also features bots, meaning you can play the game solo if there’s no one around which is a nice feature. However, the game is focused on multiplayer and is better that way.
What’s nice is that the game also features an online mode, which sometimes is missed in most party games, so it’s a nice inclusion here. I’ve played a few online matches and I’ve not experienced any issues with it. Everything ran smoothly in my experience but some connections may vary.
There are a total of 25 different mini-games and arena maps to play in Marooners, and I’ve seen on the official Nintendo website that the game also has some extra deluxe content. I’m not sure what that is, possibly extra weapons.
While there are a decent number of levels to play, there isn’t any way I’ve seen that you can make your own custom games which is a shame. It would have been a nice addition to have some sort of custom mode where you could mix and match levels from the two different modes that you may have wanted to play. But sadly there isn’t an option here, which I think is a missed opportunity.
There are a few unlockables in the game that you can unlock by levelling-up every time you play. Gaining points will allow you to level-up which can unlock over 70 different weapons, which you can then equip in the character selection screen, though these are mostly all cosmetic.
There are also a few different characters to play as well, even though they all play the same. It still adds some replayability to the longevity of the game, especially if you want to unlock them all.
Graphics and sound
The graphics in Marooners are actually quite nice, and some of the arena and party levels look quite good with some nice effects. Purely on a visual standing point, Marooners is a nice looking party game compared to some others I’ve recently played. The sound is a mixed bag as the characters’ voices sound a little off and can be quite annoying to listen to every few minutes. The music has a lot of tribe-like tracks that play well with the Marooners theme, but it’s nothing to get too excited over.
Marooners is a decent party game…I like the party mode as it’s chaotic and the arena mode is growing on me. The swapping back and forth mechanic keeps the party on its toes. And there are 70 weapons, as well as characters to unlock as you progress. The arena mode is for close quarter combat and the party mode for some treasure hunting. I still wish there had been a custom mode available though, as you could have picked the levels you wanted to play in rapid succession…but it’s sadly not there. The game does support online play and is a welcome addition, plus there are bots available for solo players. But the game is definitely more fun with friends and family in local multiplayer, to keep busy over the weekend.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy Marooners for the Nintendo Switch at the following link: eShop
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.