Review – Mutant Mudds

A review by Jeremy Hardin

Game – Mutant Mudds
Version – 3DSWare
Time Spent Playing – 7 hours
Developed and Published by – Renegade Kid
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Renegade Kid

Mutant Mudds is a 2D platformer presented in stereoscopic 3D, loaded with challenges, superb visual style, nostalgia inducing audio and a heck of a lot of FUN!

40 LEVELS – 5 WORLDS – 3 POWER-UPS – 1 AWESOME GRANNIE – AND MORE…

Story
Max (The Hero) is just sitting there watching TV at his Grannie’s house when all of a sudden, news breaks that Mutant Mudds have invaded Earth!  Now it’s up to Max, armed with his water cannon and H2O jet pack to save the day, with a little help from Grannie of course!

There isn’t much in the way of a story here and that’s ok, because Mutant Mudds doesn’t need some deep story when it has such great gameplay to prove it’s worth.

Gameplay and Controls
When you start off, you will be in the hub world as seen in the screenshot below.  At first, doors will have numbers on them informing you how many Water Sprites you must collect before you can access the level.  As you progress, the numbers will be replaced with animation that looks like a ripple in water.  So imagine everyone of those doors animated at once, kind of hypnotic.  Ah, as usual, I digress.

Your goal in every level is to run, jump, hover (briefly), and shoot your way past enemies and cleverly designed levels and collect the Water Sprite located at the end of each level.  A secondary goal is to collect all 100 of the golden diamonds scattered generously throughout each level.  These diamonds are a necessity as they allow you to purchase 3 upgrades from none other than Grannie.  The upgrades you can purchase are a power shot, which allows you to shoot bullets faster.  The extended hover, which lets you hover for double the time and the final upgrade is the high jump which allows you to jump incredibly high, incredibly fast to reach those hard to reach places or even to skip around the level when needed.  These upgrades won’t be available until further in the game as they cost a lot of golden diamonds.  Believe it or not, there is even a tertiary goal.  In each level there is a hard to reach door leading to a secret level.  The door will be labeled either G-Level, which is a homage to the Game Boy color scheme or V-Level, which is modeled after, yes you guessed it, Virtual Boy.  Both the V and G levels use the color palette of the corresponding handheld.  Each of these levels has a Water Sprite ripe for the picking, but of course you have to survive the challenges that await you.

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Now, all of this may sound easy on the surface and at first it is.  However, you will quickly find out that Renegade Kid did not intend for Mutant Mudds to be easy.  No, in fact it can become maddeningly difficult at times, but never so frustrating that you don’t want to finish.  There were levels when I died more than 20 times before I finally made it to the end, but it was so incredibly rewarding when I finally beat the level.

I think I’ve covered just about everything with the gameplay so let’s move onto the controls.  You control Max with the Circle Pad or D-Pad.  He can move left, right and he can crouch.  You jump by pressing B or A and you can hover by pressing either of those buttons 2 times in quick succession.  I can assure you the controls are tight and responsive, you will find no faults here.  Thank you Renegade Kid!

Visuals and Sound
From the moment you load up Mutant Mudds, you will be treated to a simple, yet impressive 3D Title Screen displaying Max and a Sacky Sit-Sit on each end of the title.  Whatever you do, do not let the simplistic visuals turn you off from this game.  Rest assured that there is far more to Mutant Mudds beyond these sweet looking graphics and the great gameplay I already mentioned above.  In particular, I am talking about the 3D effect.  Every level has 3 layers of depth to them.  The foreground, the background and the middle, which is the default.  The 3D effect is some of the best I’ve seen on the 3DS to date and truly enhances the gameplay.  By using layers, they had the ability to do so much within each level.  For instance, there are Blowers that sit in the background.  Every few seconds they blow a puff of air which, if you get caught in it will push you to the foreground.  This usually results in death by spikes or pits.  In later levels there are large swinging spikes which if you get hit by them will send you flying into the foreground/screen so hard you die instantly.  These are just two examples of many in which Renegade Kid has enhanced the gameplay using the 3D and layered level design.  Oh, and here is a little something that you may not even notice about Max, which is his wave.  If you don’t move Max for about 5 seconds, he turns towards the camera and waves, a nod to you the player perhaps.  I have always enjoyed these little additions in games I play, so it was a treat for me to see it in Mutant Mudds.

The chiptune soundtrack, created by Troupe Gammag, is fun, catchy and an absolute pleasure to listen to, even while not playing.  No wonder Grannie is dancing!  Every single track compliments the levels and helps to create a memorable gaming experience.  Seeing as I am a fan of the soundtrack, I have gone ahead and included the download link below.  Do you guys notice the Sacky Sit- Sit up above, even it is dancing to the sweet music! I’m telling you, listening to the music and playing the game brought back good memories of the NES and SNES days.

Concluding Overall Impressions

You will be hard pressed to find a title on the eShop channel better than Mutant Mudds.  Yes, I believe Mutant Mudds is the best game on the eShop service at this time.  Sorry Pushmo, I like you, I really do.  But Mutant Mudds, you aren’t.

Renegade Kid brought an outstanding product in the form of Mutant Mudds to the eShop and have set a high, yet attainable bar for other developers.  So, if you like platformers in general, are a fan of old school graphics, and you just like having fun when you play games, then go to the eShop NOW and support Renegade Kid by purchasing Mutant Mudds.  Yes, it is easily worth the $9.

Final Score: 5 out of 5

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You can check out the official website for Mutant Mudds HERE!

You can listen and download the Mutant Mudds OST HERE!

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About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80’s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


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