Mutant Mudds Review
A retro style battle to clean up the world. Literally.
A successful, and critically acclaimed, release on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for some reason wasn’t enough to get Mutant Mudds a subsequent release on Steam but that hasn’t stopped Renegade Kid from bringing their game to the PC. GoG.com is the new home for this little platformer and that’s a win for all of us that don’t own a 3DS. If you’re a fan of old school platforming action, and the challenges it offers, Mutant Mudds is worth your time.
Mutant Mudds stars Max, a deliberately pixelated young boy armed with a water cannon, a jet pack and a dream. A dream to rid the earth of all of the mutant piles of mud that have shown up since that meteor landed on Earth. It’s the type of back story that brings me right back to the eight, and sixteen, bit era. It’s not really important, as it wasn’t important to know why a plumber was saving princesses from turtles, but Mutant Mudds isn’t about the story.
Renegade Kid describe the graphics used in Mutant Mudds as “12 bit”, which actually fits since they really lie about halfway between NES and SNES quality. What the visuals do well is convey the sense of depth that’s been added to the 2D world Max must navigate. You see, in Mutant Mudds you’ll be jetting between three different planes of perspective while the camera remains fixed. Most of the action takes place in the middle view but often you’ll be thrust out for a close up, or banished to the background of the level.
When the action is up close, you’ll have to be careful of what is just off the screen and when the action moves to the background of the level you’ll have to adjust your jumping to the smaller scale. Initially I thought the change of perspective was just a gimmick, but it’s really used to mess with your head and to force you to change tactics just when you thought you were on a roll.
After completing a quick tutorial level you’ll be free to choose which order you want to complete each level, to an extent, and from the overview map you can purchase upgrades as well. The goal of each level is to make it through without dying, there are no checkpoints, and to collect all 100 crystals scattered throughout the level. You also have a time limit of four minutes to complete each level, so time will be a bigger and bigger threat as you progress in the game.
What I really like about Mutant Mudds was how tight the controls are. Max can get around by jumping and can also hover for a short period with his jet pack, but when you want to stick a landing, you can stick a landing. Where other platformers try to artificially bump up the difficulty by making your movement slightly unpredictable, Mutant Mudds comes by its difficulty honestly. And it is difficult.
With sixty available levels, and a ton of crystals to collect, Mutant Mudds is a fun little trip down nostalgia lane where you get to see what modern ideas look like when they are mixed with retro visuals and sensibilities.
There are no multiplayer modes in Mutant Mudds.
If you’re the kind of person that really loves platformers for the skill they require, you’re going to love Mutant Mudds. This game won’t be what everyone is looking for but what it does, it does with love. Mutant Mudds is a pure game, the kind we’re not always looking for but the kind we need once in a while.