You’re at home watching TV when, all of a sudden, mutant mudds attack! Step outside your front door and take it to them. You are Max, a small blonde boy with a water cannon and H2O powered jetpack. This is your life. This is Mutant Mudds Deluxe.
Mutant Mudds was originally published on 3DS in North America on January 26, 2012. Since then, it has seen a release on most other platforms. Now, it has popped up on PlayStation Network under the name Mutant Mudds Deluxe, and let me just say: it is an exceptionally solid game across the board, with not much like it on the Vita.
The controls in Mutant Mudds Deluxe are simple and few. You press X to jump. Press X again in the air to activate your jetpack, so you can glide over longer distances. Press square to shoot your water cannon to kill those filthy mutant mudds. Finally, to move left, right, and duck down use the analog stick or d-pad. That’s basically the entire control scheme. The simplistic controls really lets you focus on timing and precision, the skills that will keep you alive in later levels when you’re trying to collect all those diamonds. The controls are incredibly tight, adding longevity to the game, as it rewards your hard work and practice. When you die, more often than not, it’s your fault.
There are 20 normal levels, 20 bonus levels within those levels, and 20 mirror levels (where all the mudds are ghosts (awesome)). This brings the total number of levels to 60. There are three objectives in each level of Mutant Mudds Deluxe. The main objective is to just get through the level, and collect the water sprite at the end within the time limit. This can be completed fairly easily throughout the 20 normal levels. The second objective is to collect all 100 diamonds in the level. In the later levels, this can be an extremely challenging. Especially in the ghost levels, where you’ll be cursing the gods trying to get all the diamonds. The third objective is to complete the bonus levels inside the 20 normal levels. Completing these bonus levels are the most difficult aspect of the game. Just finding the entrances into these levels is hard, and then once you do, completing them is difficult, requiring a mastery of the controls.
One of the unique aspects of the game is its use of depth of field. Throughout each level, you will come across launchers that will launch you into either the foreground or the background, creating a visually interesting dynamic to the game. When in the background, the frame is often very busy, with everything in the foreground being blurry. When in the foreground, the characters take up the whole frame, showing off the beauty and detail of the pixel graphics. This sets Mutant Mudds Deluxe apart visually from other platformers.
I love the weird world created here. From the odd fact that you’re fighting mutant mudds and nothing is explained, to the simple yet creative design of the protagonist, as well as the world itself. All of it works to engage the player. The music is catchy and fun, and the sound effects have the appropriate amount of blips and bloops. The art style crushes that 16-bit Nintendo feel. It looks like a SNES game, in all its glorious wonder.
If there’s one minor gripe I have about Mutant Mudds Deluxe it’s that you have to play each level multiple times to complete all the objectives. You end up getting a little burnt out on running through and seeing the same levels over and over. This isn’t really a huge problem though because it’s still a blast to play.
Mutant Mudds Deluxe is a fun, tight game, well worth 10 dollars. It’s a game that surprises you with how good it is, using simple and tight controls to hook you. With a good challenge that ramps up nicely, it’s the perfect game for someone with a Vita looking for a new 16-bit platformer.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PlayStation Vita version of Mutant Mudds Deluxe developed by Renegade Kid
- Depth of Field Use
- Incredibly Tight Controls
- Repetitive Levels