Mutant Mudds Deluxe Review


I first played Mutant Mudds back when it was a Nintendo 3DS eShop title. I also played and enjoyed each piece of new content that was added, so I went into this playthrough with a familiarity of the game. Mutant Mudds Deluxe on the big screen had always tempted me, but I could never justify buying the game a second time. That all changed when Atooi held a number of sales on the Nintendo eShop and I snagged the Mutant Mudds Collection for around $3. I also grabbed Xeodrifter, so you can expect more Atooi coverage. But for now, let’s take a look at the joys and cons of Mutant Mudds Deluxe.

Water Blasting Leads to Solid Gameplay 

You control Max, a nerdy kid that wields a water-fueled jetpack and gun. You jump, hover and shoot your way through masterfully crafted levels that make full use of Max’s arsenal. If you feel like you won’t reach a platform, you can activate your jetpack to make up for any mistakes. Of course, there are portions of the game designed for intentional use of your jetpack, as well. Enemies are varied, albeit a bit basic, and are placed about accordingly to keep the game challenging. Checkpoints are placed around halfway through each stage and will reduce frustration during some of the more challenging sections. Checkpoints were not in the game when it was first released and you have the option to turn them off if you want that experience.

When the game first released on the Nintendo 3DS, there was an emphasis placed on crafting levels to highlight the handheld’s 3D technology. This led to levels with depth that allow you to jump into both the foreground and background. The 3D effect is lost in transition to HD, however, the layered approach can still be enjoyed in Mutant Mudds Deluxe.

Ultimately, the gameplay isn’t bogged down with unnecessary elements and is rather true to old school platformers.


Power-ups Evoke Mixed Feelings 

Mutant Mudds Deluxe handles its power-ups in a way that leaves me with mixed feelings. The joyful bit here is that the power-ups themselves are fantastic and add to the game’s overall appeal. You’ll be able to shoot farther, hover longer, and rocket into the sky, all of which can be utilized to speedrun the game, or make traversing levels a tiny bit easier. You must purchase them from Granny with the golden diamonds you collect during each stage before they can be equipped. You can only equip one of them at a time, however, I don’t see this as a con as I feel it balances the game’s difficulty.

My main gripe here is that you must visit Granny every time you want to equip one of them. This isn’t immediately an issue, however, should you want to access the game’s bonus levels, you may certainly run into some frustration. The power-ups are necessary to access the game’s hidden levels, as they are often placed behind obstacles that require one of the three power-ups to be used. The painful part here comes when you find one of those bonus levels, but have the wrong power-up equipped. You will need to exit the level, visit Granny, then backtrack to the bonus level before you can enter. This could have easily been avoided by allowing the player to choose which power-up is equipped in a menu screen.

Tons of Content 

Mutant Mudds Deluxe is jam-packed with additional content. First, there are 100 golden diamonds to be collected on each of the game’s 20 levels. These golden diamonds are required to unlock more content. Second, as discussed above, each of the main levels also has a hidden bonus level that features either a Game Boy or Virtual Boy theme. Third, Mutant Mudds Deluxe includes the 20 Granny DLC levels that were added to the game on the Nintendo 3DS, as well as the 20 Wii U exclusive ghost levels. If you were counting, that makes for a total of 80 levels. Fourth, there are secret characters to both find and unlock. All of this content will keep you coming back to Mutant Mudds Deluxe quite a bit.

Lack of Boss Fights 

My biggest disappointment with Mutant Mudds Deluxe is its lack of boss fights. Encounters with a boss are supposed to serve as the climax to a level, so I was ultimately left with a feeling of dissatisfaction. There is a versatility to the game’s muddy enemies which could have made for some incredible boss fights. It’s a shame that fans would have to wait until Mutant Mudds Super Challenge to experience some bigger baddies.

Beautiful 12-bit Style 

Another of the game’s biggest strengths lie in its beautiful pixel artwork. Mutant Mudds Deluxe is incredibly colorful, cartoony, and looks fantastic in HD. The game looks like something you’d find during the 8-bit, and 16-bit eras, but was actually coined a “12-bit” game by Jools Watsham. Jools is the game’s artist and face of Atooi, which formed following the dissolution of Renegade Kid. Jools is an industry veteran and has roots in the SNES era, so it’s easy to see how that experience affected Mutant Mudds Deluxe.

Fantastic Homage from Troupe Gammage 

Troupe Gammage handles the soundtrack for Mutant Mudds Deluxe and he delivers a fantastic homage to retro gaming. The tunes found in Mutant Mudds Deluxe have an earworm quality and will present itself when you least expect. There are also two pieces of music per world, as well as a piece for each of the themed bonus levels. So, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever grow bored of the game’s soundtrack.

Conclusion

Mutant Mudds Deluxe is a joy to play and holds up quite well in the transition to HD. It’s not without its flaws, but the joys heavily outweigh the cons making it a must play title. It’s also part of a well-priced collection that features two other Mutant Mudds games, so there is some additional added value.

Final Score: +3

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