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Mutant Mudds (Nintendo 3DS eShop) Review
Review by 
8.39/10 from 13 user ratings
 
Renegade Kid's critically acclaimed retro-style platformer has finally launched on the eShop. Is it the next great addition to a growing list of titles?


Max has a lot of work to do. (Screen courtesy of Renegade Kid)

The game's premise starts out simple enough. Max is at his Grannie's house when, out of nowhere, the Mutant Mudds invade the earth. Determined to stop them, Max arms himself with a water pistol and jetpack and heads out to collect the Water Sprites necessary to stop them. That's about it for the story, though like most classic platformers, it doesn't need a grandiose story to add to the gameplay.

The game is split up into 40 levels, 20 regular levels and 20 secret levels. In all of those stages, Max has to jump, hover, and shoot his way to the Water Sprite at the end of the stage. The level design is decent enough, and while it starts out simple, the challenge slowly ramps up to test even the best of gamers by the time you reach the fifth world. If you see an arrow on the ground, press B and Max will be wisked into the foreground or background layer. The platforming is tightly designed, and the controls are rock solid as well.

In each of the 20 main levels, there are 100 Golden Diamonds to collect. Once you collect enough, you can unlock power-ups for Max to use. One of them extends the water pistol's shot distance and the number of shots he can fire at a time. Another doubles the time he can hover using the jet pack. The last allows Max to super jump by pressing up and B, which is very useful in the later stages. Unfortunately, you can only use one power-up at a time, and you have to keep returning to Grannie's house to swap them.


A secret level, Virtual Boy style. They also come in Game Boy style. (Screen courtesy of Renegade Kid)

In addition, each of the 20 main levels houses a secret level. Some are easy to access, but some require specific power-ups to access. These levels house Water Sprites with no Gold Diamonds. They are inspired by the Game Boy and the Virtual Boy. Their colors mostly reflect this, although Max and the Mudds keep their original colors (which was odd to me, but most gamers probably won't mind).

Graphically, the game is a total throwback to the NES/SNES era of gaming. Sprites are fluidly animated and look nice, and the game runs at a solid framerate throughout. The 3D effect is one of Mudds' strong points. It adds a true sense of depth to the gameplay, especially when Max jumps into the foreground or background and when he encounters the Mudd Maces, horizontal rotating balls of spikes. The music features some nice chiptunes and retro sound effects.

Ultimately, the game has a couple of big drawbacks. There isn't much variety to be seen in Mudds. All Max can do is basically shoot enemies, jump around and collect Diamonds. There isn't much else to do. It's not bad, but by the fifth stage (which was in space, you'd think gravity would change or something) it got to be mundane.

Also, like I mentioned before, the power-up system is archaic. Having to leave a level to switch power-ups was a curious design decision (even though this is remedied once you 100% the game, but by that time it's a bit late). Finally, the game's length. I fully completed the game in just over five hours. It's not a long game at all.


Gameplay trailer. (Video courtesy of Renegade Kid)

Mutant Mudds isn't a bad game. It's a good game, just not a great one. I recommend it if you're looking for a good old-school game, but I would recommend VVVVVV first.

Editor's note 1: I'm aware that VVVVVV and Mutant Mudds are completely different games. I changed the word "platformer" to "game" in the last sentence to reflect that. My apologies.

Editor's note 2: The new Grannie levels don't do enough for me to change the score. They're challenging, but...that's about it.

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Posted: 01/30/12, 17:32:01  - Edited by 
 on: 10/25/12, 22:07:55    
 
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Having finally completed this game 100%, I liked it a lot. I think the level design is really great and challenging for all the right reasons. This is a retro game that actually lives up to the games that inspired it, and honestly I didn't expect that from Renegade Kid. Not on their first try at making a 2D platformer!


Posted by 
 on: 07/10/12, 07:17:35
I'm waiting for the sequel, or maybe a $4.99 sale. God, I'm a sucker for sales.


Posted by 
 on: 07/10/12, 16:40:22
@anon_mastermind

At $4.99, I'd say jump on it. I personally felt the original price was too high based on the amount of content in the game.


Posted by 
 on: 07/10/12, 16:43:57
Glad to see some people enjoyed this game. I thought it was great!


Posted by 
 on: 07/10/12, 23:07:42
So, Mutant Mudds is heading to PC via Steam, and it's getting bonus levels. The bonus levels will be free DLC for the 3DS version.

Jools Watsham's blog said:
You might be asking yourself, "Why should I vote for Mudds on Steam?" when you may already have Mutant Mudds on your 3DS, or you’re waiting for the 20 new Grannie levels to land on the eShop (which is totally going to happen btw, as a free update)

Link


Posted by 
 on: 09/04/12, 22:34:24  - Edited by 
 on: 09/04/12, 22:34:46
Yeah, I read that today. Curious to see how they play...and even more curious to see if it sways my opinion of the game.


Posted by 
 on: 09/04/12, 22:42:26  - Edited by 
 on: 09/04/12, 22:46:32
anon_mastermind said:
The bonus levels will be free DLC for the 3DS version.

SCORE.


Posted by 
 on: 09/04/12, 23:43:18
I just got my 100% on this game (posted in the Finished Pile thread). The entire game was an absolute joy to play, it has just the right amount of challenge without become exceedingly frustrating (with the exception of one, perhaps two, levels). The levels are short enough where the lack of checkpoints are not really a problem.

I love the graphics and the sound, and I especially love the use of 3-D for the different play fields. Yeah, when you're in the foreground, the action is zoomed in entirely too much, but the levels are smartly designed around it, and it works. This game really makes me wish I could play Wario Land on VB again. It's great they pay tribute to Game Boy and Virtual Boy in the 'extra' stages.

The 'extra' stages were fantastic and really tested your skills with the hover ability and your timing based on enemy patterns.

The time limit in this game was never a problem, as @ludist210 mentioned. In fact, Zero has a good point here:

Zero said:
I'm actually kind of liking the timer now. It takes a lot of situations which would be simple without it and makes you really push yourself to master them efficiently, taking more risks, etc.

ludist210 said:
Ultimately, the game has a couple of big drawbacks. There isn't much variety to be seen in Mudds. All Max can do is basically shoot enemies, jump around and collect Diamonds. There isn't much else to do. It's not bad, but by the fifth stage (which was in space, you'd think gravity would change or something) it got to be mundane.

I can see how this could be a drawback, but it didn't really feel that way to me. Maybe because the game is short, but I was satisfied with the variety, though I could see how some of the concepts could have been expanded.

Also, the short levels means I was not really bothered with having to swap out the abilities outside of the levels (though there was at least one late level that was annoying because you don't know what ability you need until the very end).

All in all, a fun game, and I look forward to the Wii U version!

anon_mastermind said:
The bonus levels will be free DLC for the 3DS version.

NICE.


Posted by 
 on: 09/14/12, 07:12:17  - Edited by 
 on: 09/14/12, 07:14:37
I was about to buy this game on sale today, but then I saw that it finally got greenlit on Steam. Guess I'll wait for that.


Posted by 
 on: 09/24/13, 03:27:57
@Jargon

Why wait for Steam?


Posted by 
 on: 09/24/13, 04:40:42
@GameDadGrant

Because it will be cheaper eventually and I can play it on the big screen.

I got Aura Aura Climber instead.


Posted by 
 on: 09/24/13, 05:38:19
The Wii U version is also on sale.


Posted by 
 on: 09/24/13, 06:40:41
@Jargon

Alright then. Heh. Nintendo fans just don't buy third party games on Nintendo systems. (I don't mean to single you out personally, but I find this is a running theme for many people)

Oh well.

@Guillaume

Is the Wii U getting the sequel, do you know?


Posted by 
 on: 09/24/13, 14:54:40
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