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DoctorSpuds Reviews Things - Marauder (Tigervision)


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I think we can all agree that Tigervision was an all around okay company, they published some pretty excellent games like Polaris and Jawbreaker, but they also had a few stinkers as well. But apart from their incredibly rare and expensive games and their incredibly terrible games there were a few in the middle that just seem to get no attention whatsoever, games like King Kong, Threshold, and Marauder always seem to fly under the radar. Perhaps there is a reason for that, today let’s just focus on Marauder, and see why this game both succeeds and fails at being an entertaining piece of software.

Marauder borrows fairly heavily from room-based exploration games like Berzerk and Venture. There is a small selection of rooms for your little unexplainable blob to run through, all of them are laid out fairly differently and all of them are a different color to help you differentiate them. The game takes place in a top-down perspective so you only see the tops of everybody’s head which makes everybody look like a lump of pixels. When you destroy a robot you will see them fall over spread-eagle, which is rather adorable. Unfortunately this is where the graphics sort of stop, there is another blob that represents a power up and another blob that is your objective, this entire game is made up of six screens and six different flavors of blob. But the graphics aren’t the deciding factor, there are still the sounds and gameplay to go, will they save this bloberiffic game? I sure hope so…

If you thought the graphics were lackluster, well… the sounds compliment them perfectly. The sounds consist of several different beeps to indicate gunfire, the ‘Charge’ jingle whenever you destroy the objective or collect the power-up, and that part from ‘Taps’ whenever you die. Correct me if I’m wrong but Marauder shares its entire musical lineup with Custer’s Revenge, what an odd piece of trivia nobody needed to know. Yeah, so far this game has been light on the graphics and light on the sound, again this doesn’t spell disaster, games like Room of Doom knock it outta the park with their gameplay even if the sounds and graphics are lackluster at best.

Marauder is basically Berzerk with a bit added in and a bit taken out. All you do is run through six screens to find the power generator and destroy it. Along the way you will be attacked by robots that have a nasty habit of appearing in the walls, they will get faster and smarter as the game progresses. Unlike with Berzerk you can freely move between the rooms, and any robot that you destroy stays dead, this also means that an Evil Otto type enemy is not present in Marauder. Fortunately, or unfortunately the arrangement of the rooms is random and so is the room you begin in, you may start right next to the power generator or you may not be able to find it save your life. There is a power-up that will show up once in a while, all it does is grant you invincibility, so you can have the satisfaction of running through small crowds or robots and watch them fall over. But yeah, that’s it, the game just keeps repeating over and over until you lose all of your lives because the robots have transcended human reaction times.

This game starts out so great, it’s a fairly original concept based on an already proven formula, unfortunately it just doesn’t do anything beyond that, eventually you’re going to get bored. It’s worth a play every now and then but there just isn’t enough to keep you invested. It is a thoroughly ‘MEH’ game, what isn’t so ‘MEH’ is the price, since this is a Tigervision game the prices are going to be a bit ludicrous. Loose cartridges are currently listed on Ebay from between 55-130 dollars and boxed copies have sold historically from 70-400 dollars. I’d recommend just sticking to emulating this game or buying a Harmony/UNO Cart. Straight to the Collector’s Zone for Marauder, the game simply doesn’t justify the price.

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