First Impressions: Modoo Marble PH

Reimaru gets a peek at the online board game fever that hit the Philippine shores.

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Casual gaming is slowly becoming a hit amongst the growing population and variety of gamers, and with it comes a growing variety of casual games, and one of them is GameClub Philippines’ newest release, Modoo Marble.

Overview
Modoo Marble is a casual online board game developed by CJ Netmarble and was initially released in South Korea. The game is derived from the popular board game hit, Monopoly. The mechanics are pretty simple, be the richest guy on the board by acquiring assets via purchasing properties, and taxing opponents, using dice rolls, its easy to say that the game itself is based on chances, but deep down, there’s more to Modoo than just being a game of chance.

Each match accommodates 4 players, and can either be Solo Mode or Team Mode, Solo Mode is the all out, free-for-all, while the Team Mode is a 2-on-2 competition, GameClub says that it’s more fun if you play it on team mode, as the coop brings out the “competitive” side of the game.

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Variety, Variety, Variety
Being the richest guy on the board isn’t the only way to win, paying attention to the tutorial (which everybody just loves to skip, especially for games under the “Casual” classification), reveals that there is more than 1 way to win the game. Special win conditions are available such as acquiring all properties in one single lane or line of the board, acquiring properties in tiles that have the same colors, acquiring “special” properties, and of course bankrupting your opponent.

Casually Complex
The variety of win conditions gives proof to the complexity of the game, while players might just be thinking that they’ll just throw a dice and purchase properties, analyzing situations properly can lead to a smashing win or a sudden death. Do you really have to buy the property owned by your opponent? Which area should you increase your taxes? Are you really going to use those fortune cards? There’s a lot of decision making that can possibly be involved, and sometimes doing a “lucky throw” isn’t enough to take the advantage.

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Compact as expected
Being a casual game as it is, Modoo Marble is as light as it goes, with only 200MB on the file size and compatible enough to run on Pentium 3 powered PCs. Still the filesize can possibly go up overtime as new content which will be released via updates will be coming soon, perhaps one cool update that we all can ask for is for the game to have its own Mobile Version so we can all acquire properties and tax opponents on the go.

Rewards and Achievement Systems
Aside from its casually complex feel, Modoo Marble also relies on its near-generous rewards system that gives almost everything to its players, from additional cash (marbles), to card packs, to attribute-boosters, all one needs to do is simply to win games, or achieve daily tasks to continue playing. In game items aren’t the only things that GameClub Philippines rewards to Modoo players as a variety of raffle prizes and other contests that reward stuff ranging from Mobile Phones, Gaming Peripherals and even Vacation Trips are being made to help grow the playerbase.

Quick Verdict
Modoo Marble promotes a fun experience for both the casual and the hardcore, easy to learn, not too easy to master. Though some might say that the game still lacks content, Modoo Marble is relatively young, entering the Open Beta phase just December of 2014, updates are not out of the suggestion though, and hopefully we can see more addition to the current content before we hit the end of the first quarter. While designed for PC, perhaps a handy mobile version can be thrown in as for gamers to spend time on the game even on the go.

Casually addicting, and surprisingly complex, a good way to kill time during those “in-between” moments when using the PC, Modoo Marble mixes the simple mechanics of a casual game, to the moderately complex decision making feel of a strategy title, not always a perfect mix for everyone, but good enough to get anyone hooked up.

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