While at PAX East 2016 I caught up with Mike Hergaarden of M2H game studio to talk about their new game Marooners. There was a lot of action around their booth from the people waiting to play the game. Everyone seemed excited about the game with the many shouts from the spectators during upset moments. Marooners is a fun party game for two to six local and online players. Matches last for five minutes making for some fast paced action with never a dull moment. There are eight match styles of which five are chosen randomly for any given match. Players choose their character from six different avatars as of now, with more characters to come in the future. The characters are diverse with choices such as a Viking, Pirate, Caveman, and Old Timey Diver. Players have eight different color choices to customize their character so they can keep track of their avatar even if there is an identical one in the same match.
During my time hands on with the game I found it to be every bit as fun to play as it was watching others play it. At first the game seemed a bit chaotic, but once I figured out what was going on in the matches I thought it was a really innovative feature. To explain, I’ll talk about some of the game modes. To begin all the players are running down a path while collecting treasure and avoiding falling boulders, then the game shifts to a free for all mining arena, to a last man standing arena where the floor falls away. When we got back to running path, I noticed that I was in the exact same place as when I left off from before. While it may not seem earth shattering, remembering where I left off in a given match now added a sense of strategy for when game modes changed. The game is all about collecting loot. At the end of a match all the players are shown lined up on screen with their loot tallies rising them up with first place standing tall amidst the other players. I found Marooners to be extremely accessible, with Mike confirming that it was designed that way because he wanted to make a game that his non-gamer friends can play. He accomplished just that, making a game that is just as fun to watch as it is to play. Marooners is available now through Steam early access, and they are investigating console possibilities.