Marooners – Xbox One Review

Couch co-op titles are a dying genre, especially with AAA developers pushing out (mostly) online-focused titles because that’s where the demand is at, so it’s up to smaller studios to produce those titles for when you have a friend or two around at your house. In recent years, Xbox has made quite the home for couch co-op titles, but mostly they’re filled with brawlers, some of which feature no online capabilities.

Developer Rejected Games have brought to us Marooners; a party game with a twist: mini-games switch out on-the-fly between one another paving way for hectic battles. When you load up a session, whether that be with the AI, couch co-op, online players or even a combination of them all, you’ll jump straight into a randomly selected mini-game and battle it out with other players, but after a short while the mini-game will stop mid-game and load up another random mini-game for you to battle it out on. Again, after a short while, that mini-game will stop and you will either be greeted with another mini-game or return to the previous mini-game you was playing where you will resume where you left off.

It’s an interesting idea that’s actually executed quite well – simple rules consisted of one DO and one DON’T per game. All the other controls follow through all the mini-games. A to jump and B to attack is pretty much the only buttons that are used. Plenty of colour variations for each character so you can stand out from the rest. Not to mention the plethora of different weapons that can be gained and used – although switching weapons is simply cosmetic and don’t do any variation in damage you to do your opponents.

Each mini-game requires you to collect jewels, whilst following that particular games rules, in order to collect the most points. If you attack another player, they’ll drop coins in which you can pick up to essentially ‘steal’ their points. Whilst the games are enjoyable, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed with the amount of games available. There are a handful of arenas and a bunch of mini-games equating to over 20 games, so those expecting Mario Party wealth should look elsewhere.

Having said that, Marooners is a game you can just jump straight into with any combination of players, with each session taking around 10-30 minutes, depending on how quickly players die in each mini-game. Of course, for those old schoolers who like to play each game at their leisure, you can turn the chaos mode off and have mini-games switch after completing each mini-game, but where’s the fun in that?

Marooners is available to download now from the Xbox Store, priced at £7.99.

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