Another addition to the ‘difficult retro platormer’ list.
Retro style platformer Mutant Mudds was released on the 3DS eShop earlier this year, and received a lot of critical success. The game has now made it’s way to the PC, with several new levels and features, and if you’re a fan of old school, tough platfomers then this will be right up your street.
As you’d probably expect, the story behind Mutant Mudds isn’t too complex. A meteor has hit Earth and there are mud monsters invading the planet. You play the part of the bespectacled Max who, armed with a trusty water cannon and jetpack, must go out and save the world from these invaders.
Mutant Mudds sits somewhere between 8 and 16 bit games in terms of style, with the developers themselves describing the game as ’12-bit’, which looks nice and gives the game a lot of charm. There is a reminder that this is a more modern game though, in the form of the three different planes the platforming takes place in. You spend most of your time in the middle plane, but as you go there will be markers that, when activated, will see Max jet off into either the foreground or the background.
Perhaps the biggest change to the 3DS version is the timer. In the 3DS version, you had a time limit for each level. This time limit has been removed, and you simply timed on how long it takes you to complete the level, with your times posted to the online leaderboards to compare with the world. This change does also make the more difficult levels a bit easier than they would be, as you can take your time and think ahead more instead of ploughing through and making fatal mistakes.
Each level has 100 crystals to collect, and collecting them all will allow you to buy upgrades from Grannie to allow you to traverse future levels easier and go back to find the hidden levels that are dotted all over the place. You get a big gem at the end of each completed level, and you can complete the levels in whatever order you like as long as you have the gems required to open the doors.
I’ve mentioned the difficulty of the game already. Mutant Mudds is a game that is difficult, but never unfair. If you die, it’s due to you making a mistake rather than the game screwing you over. You very rarely come across a blind jump or enemy, and if you take your time, you should do OK. The controls are very tight as well, which helps. Through the use of the double jump hovering, you can predict where you’re going to land quite easily and stick the landing every time. You can choose a control scheme that suits you as well, be it controller or keyboard.
There isn’t much variety in the basic gameplay of Mutant Mudds. You traverse platforms, you shoot things and you continue on. But that’s not really a bad thing. This is pure, old style plaforming fun like mother used to make, assuming your mother was a video game developer back in the day.
Mutant Mudds is a fantastic retro style platformer. The charming visuals and varied levels give you lots to look at and there’s plenty to do in the game, especially for the completionists out there. It’s difficult, but never unfairly so. It’s just a pure slice of classic platforming that’s been lovingly crafted and designed and it’s worthy of your time.
Mutant Mudds is available to buy now at GoG.com