Mutant Mudds (PC): Deep, deep and unforgiving

September 17, 2012

Mutant Mudds is a throwback to the early, tough-as-nails platformers of the 8 and 16-bit eras. A simple formula pushed to masterful levels of skill to beat, it is definitely aimed at people who miss those days.

The story is as simplistic as it gets. Max is watching TV when a meteor comes bringing along with it the invading Mudds. Armed with a hover pack and a water gun, you’ll need to fight the Mudds while working through the 60 included levels, which get progressively more difficult.

It is made more difficult by its unforgiving progression and health system. You can be hit three times in a level, though lava and spikes will kill you instantly. Die, and you have to restart the level from the beginning. There’s also a timer which, if it hits four minutes, will also force you to start the level over again.

What makes this different than the other old-school platformers is that it has three different depths of play to work your way through. At various times in some levels, you’ll step on a panel which will jump you to a section that is either in the foreground or the background. This was created to take advantage of the 3D effect on the 3DS, but it works well here too.

The actual gameplay is fairly standard for a platforming game; you’ll shoot enemies, jump across platforms and collect diamonds until you finish the level. By spending diamonds in your grandma’s attic, you can upgrade your weapon and hover pack.

The graphics and sound are entirely 16-bit in nature, adding more nostalgia factor to the game. It’s also worth noting that playing this on a keyboard is difficult, so I highly recommend you use a controller, as this game is hard enough without handicapping yourself with an inferior control scheme.

This is a retro-inspired game with a punishing difficulty that does everything right to bring to mind the tougher games of yesteryear. It will take clever platforming and mastering everything to beat the game’s 60 levels. If that’s something you’ve been looking for, you need to pick up Mutant Mudds.

This game was provided for review by

Pros: Modern, retro punishing platformer; nice 16-bit graphics and sound; requires masterful platforming
Cons: If you don’t want a difficult game, the difficulty is very high

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.