(3DS eShop)

Mutant Mudds (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Mutant Mudds Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Here's Mudd in your eye

Mutant Mudds started out as a 3D polygonal platformer called Maximillian and the Rise of the Mutant Mudds intended as a retail title for the DS. Sadly, this retail release and a pitched DSiWare rendition never got off the ground. Not ones to let a good concept die, Renegade Kid instead decided to morph and move the project over to the 3DS eShop. While some may initially scoff at the game's rather simplistic look, there's actually a lot more to this platforming romp than meets the eye.

At its core, Mutant Mudds doesn't deviate too far from traditional platforming mechanics we've come to know well over the years, but delivers a robust challenge through tricky platforming, hordes of baddies and a wealth of collectibles. Max can walk, jump and shoot his water cannon as he fights evil and destroys all things Mudd in his quest to track down the water sprite located at the end of each stage. What makes Mutant Mudds so engaging and challenging is that Max sports an H2O jet pack, allowing him to hover for a short period of time. You'll soon find that if you're going to navigate many of the trickier sections, you're going to have to familiarise yourself with this item a hurry.

Another unique feature, and one made possible by the stereoscopic depth of the 3DS, is platforming through levels on different planes. Using warp pads, you can jump forward and backward to planes in front of you or farther off into the distance. This means you not only have to manoeuvre the section you're currently on, but also keep an eye out for routes and diamonds that might be located on other planes. Not only is the 3D depth used as a visual tool, it's an integral part of the level design and gameplay.

To inject even more challenge and replay value into the package, a secret door is strategically located in each regular level that will take you to one of two different bonus stages. V-Land's reddish hue is obviously influenced by Nintendo's Virtual Boy system, while G-Land is an ode to Nintendo great Gunpei Yokoi and features a monochromatic color scheme somewhat reminiscent of the Game Boy. Both types of stage feature platforming challenges that are far more diabolical than usual, so collecting the water sprites in these will test even seasoned platforming veterans.

Since the game's later levels are fairly staunch in challenge and many of the secret doors can't be reached through conventional means, you're going to need some help. Thankfully, Grannie has just the power-up for you — if you collect enough golden diamonds to purchase it from her, at least. These power-ups range from an extended hovering capability to a more powerful water cannon shot for increased range and effectiveness. Once you've purchased these upgrades, you can go back to earlier regular levels and gain access to secret doors you may have missed the first time.

If there's one aspect of a 2D platformer that has got to be done just right, it's the controls. Thankfully, Renegade Kid has done its homework; not only are the controls extremely responsive, but the variety of moves allows for a huge degree of level design flexibility. The waterpack ends up being the highlight of the package and is executed to perfection with its simple one-button scheme.

Mutant Mudds’ visual presentation is one of the most unique and charming we’ve seen in a while. The simple designs and vibrant colours really make the world spring to life on-screen, especially when combined with the stereoscopic depth of the 3DS display. It's honestly difficult to find another game to compare it to, but it features some of the same visual qualities of the classic SNES title Earthbound, with its basic sprite design and contrasting colour scheme.

There are a host of amazing musical compositions strung throughout the game. Much like the visuals, there's a nice combination of 8- and 16-bit structures in the audio department. There’s also a nice variety of musical styles throughout the various tracks. It's quite clear that Renegade Kid was looking for a very retro sound and composer Troupe Gammage did a great job of complementing the old-school platforming influences with this rather catchy chiptune soundtrack.

Conclusion

We've seen developers blend puzzles with 2D platforming to create some interesting hybrids, but it's nice to see a developer get back to basics and offer up a more traditional platforming experience for players to sink their teeth into. With its crafty level designs and unique visual style, Mutant Mudds offers up the best of both 8-bit and 16-bit worlds, all the while giving fans of the genre a classic 2D platformer. Mutant Mudds might very well be the best eShop game to date, and one no platformer fan should miss.

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User Comments (108)

AbuJaffer

#4

AbuJaffer said:

May be my first 3DSWare title; half the reason is because I love platformers, and the other half is me wanting to really support an eShop-exclusive developer. But higher on my list than any game besides Origins and MK7.

brandonbwii

#5

brandonbwii said:

Wasn't Virtual Boy created by Yokoi too? The review specifies his work as just Game Boy? Anyway, solid review. Kinda expected the final score.

I plan to get this game in late February possibly. Though platformers without boss battles is a pet peeve of mine. (Others peeves include single player beat-em-ups and racing games without online play. So developers take note) :P

zeeroid

#6

zeeroid said:

In half a year, the eShop might already be better than WiiWare has been throughout it's entire lifespan. So excited for the future of this platform!

FonistofCruxis

#7

FonistofCruxis said:

Its disappointing that there are no boss fights but this still looks like an awesome game so I'll definitely get it after its eventual European release.
@Zeeroid You're making that sound much easier than it is. 2011 may have been crap for Wiiware but there were loads of quality games released for the service in 2010 and while there weren't as many there was still quite a number of quality titles in 2009 and quite a few in 2008.

6ch6ris6

#13

6ch6ris6 said:

am i the only one who thinks this game looks lame?
i just cant understand why everyone is so hyped about it. it looks so slow and easy. hope we will get a demo, so i can test it.

Retro_on_theGo

#14

Retro_on_theGo said:

@10 No boss fights. That's why. :P

Well, this review was very convincing. My worries are now gone and I will buy this day one. Or try to at least. Need money, lol.

Gavin_Rozee

#15

Gavin_Rozee said:

I'll give it one extra week to appear in Europe. Any longer than that and they'll lose out on a purchase. Other companies manage simultaneous eShop releases in NA/EU, so this one should too.

ThumperUK

#18

ThumperUK said:

When I bought my 3DS, I expected the online shop to be filled with quickly developed dross (especially in the first year). It is great to see how wrong I was, with just about all the 3DSware being really great must-have games.

Geonjaha

#20

Geonjaha said:

"Mutant Mudds might very well be the best eShop game to date, and one no platformer fan should miss." Pullbox will very well challenge you to that. Also - there wont be any competition once Rolling Western comes out ;)

CorbsAdmin

#21

Corbs said:

Some people prefer a more straight-ahead platformer as opposed to a puzzle/platformer. And we'll see about Rolling Western. :D

chewytapeworm

#22

chewytapeworm said:

Really intrigued about this, even more so after reading this review. Sure, it does look slow and easy, but towards the end will test even the most seasoned of platform veterans, apparently. I like a challenge, and therefore I will be taking your word on this one, pal! Hope it won't take too long to get tricky, or too long for an EU release for that matter...

arrmixer

#23

arrmixer said:

another great reason for me to get a 3ds. well gonna have to wait a bit :)
by the time I get my hands on one my wishlist is gonna be huge!!

Stargazer

#24

Stargazer said:

@ #13

Ok, if it doesn't look interesting to you then move along. There are plenty of games that look dull to me but I don't dwell on them and ask people to explain why it's so great.

Nintendude92

#25

Nintendude92 said:

How long is it exactly? You mention bonus levels in any given stage-- but how many stages overall? I'll probably pick it up regardless but still, would be nice to know

And @15. They've already stated it's not going to be there and the reasons why. They say it's costly and a time consuming process for a small team-- but they want it on there as soon as possible.

CorbsAdmin

#26

Corbs said:

20 regular levels and 20 hard secret levels. Probably take you around 9 hours to perfect the game if you're fairly proficient at platformers. It's not Super Meat Boy hard, but it's getting on up there. :D

sonic_brawler95

#30

sonic_brawler95 said:

Sounds awesome! I was skeptical at first due to the price, but then I remembered that I paid $10 and $12 for Cave Story and Shantae respectivly, and they were both amazing platformers. Thursday can't come fast enough! ;)

Kyloctopus

#32

Kyloctopus said:

@Zeeroid: 3 Ace Attorney Titles, Two Final Fantasy Titles, Two Mega Man Titles, Five Art Style Games, Six Bitrip Titles, Two Lostwinds, Sonic the Hedgehog, and World of Goo are all on Wiiware. So there are 20+ good Wiiware titles. Not to mention the 3DS had barely anything for the most part. (You would have thought after 3 months of delay, there would be something presentable) and eventually the 3DS will be filled with shovelware, similar to Wiiware. I rest my case.

Rayman2

#33

Rayman2 said:

Too pricey. Pushmo, Sakuri, VVVV, MSF, and Dillions RW are great competion

Unca_LzStaff

#34

Unca_Lz said:

@Gavin_Rozee: That's quite critical of you to say that. Are you assuming that all developers are able to release games in multiple regions simultaneously? I can tell you that's not the case here.

Jfilesguy

#35

Jfilesguy said:

I'll buy this because the devs answered FIVE of my questions in the NLife interview!

Oh, that and it looks great.

EvilLucario

#36

EvilLucario said:

@34

$8.99 is too much? You're getting a lot of bang for your buck in this case. And besides, I'll be buying this one day to support Renegade Kid.

TeeJay

#37

TeeJay said:

@13 The review specifically mentions several times how difficult the game is. Do you think they're lying?

Chrono_Cross

#38

Chrono_Cross said:

For $9 this is going to be a steal. I'm definitely going to go and get this and Pushmo this week.

SkywardLink98

#39

SkywardLink98 said:

Wow. In just a few months the 3DS eShop has launched more quality games than Wiiware did in five years.

FonistofCruxis

#40

FonistofCruxis said:

@SkywardLink98 There are many quality games on the service. Here are the Wiiware games listed in order of NL's scores starting from the highest rated. You can see two 10's as well as many 9's and 8's.

WolfRamHeart

#42

WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Corbs. I will gladly pay $8.99 for this gem of a game. I'm sure that it will be well worth it. The eShop is getting better and better. :)

Kyloctopus

#43

Kyloctopus said:

The Wiiware and DSiware looked awesome. it is only a matter of time until the majority of the 3DS Downloadable Software titles are shovelware.

Ernest_The_Crab

#48

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Koops3 There's a pretty big difference between the eShop and the WiiWare/DSiWare distribution platforms.

The eShop actually has a rating system in place. It shows the current rating for the title (I believe it's an average) and the total number of people that have rated the game. Not to mention you can't actually rate the game until you've spent some actual time with the software.

These two things, combined with the software charts make it quite easy for people to figure out which games shouldn't be bought at all. This in turn discourages the creation of shovelware. Of course, this also means that some games may be overlooked as a result.

Radixxs

#50

Radixxs said:

Yet another game a need to get from the eShop. I am really liking the eShop right now.

Slapshot

#51

Slapshot said:

I'm getting tired of the puzzle/platforming hybrids and I'm really ready to sink my teeth into a straight 2D platformer.

Great review @Corbs!

cheapogamer4life

#59

cheapogamer4life said:

/after reading review :D
/noticing price :(

Imma sucker for platformers and hard games so this is still looking like a day one buy for me.

sirmarcelot

#60

sirmarcelot said:

seems to be a good game..
but i do wish the 3ds eshop got some good games in genres other than platformers.. maybe a rpg?

TimboBaggins

#61

TimboBaggins said:

This is a game I probably would never have considered trying until reading this review (mostly because the name screams bargain bin). Thankfully, that is why I read reviews on this website - yet another awesome game I might have missed. Thanks nintendolife!

TimboBaggins

#62

TimboBaggins said:

This is a game I probably would never have considered trying until reading this review (mostly because the name screams bargain bin). Thankfully, that is why I read reviews on this website - yet another awesome game I might have missed. Thanks nintendolife!

moomoo

#63

moomoo said:

I was going to get this just to support Renegade Kid, but now... Okay I'm really psyched.
Here's hoping for a 3DS FPS from them.

Kyloctopus

#64

Kyloctopus said:

@SolarKnight: Some people on the chart judge by first impression. It explains why games such as Twinbee don't do well in the charts. And most of us at NL know that most tne people you rate sugarcoat those ratings even with 10% of the top and bottom ratings gone. I can only trust NL for what to buy. And that wasn't even what I meant. I was talking about content, which some users say Wiiware lacks of, yet I beg to differ. (For examples look at comment 33)

brandonbwii

#66

brandonbwii said:

I don't think it's really people hating WiiWare as much as it's people being enthusiastic about 3DS' future. WiiWare has had some great games, some that wouldn't have made sense on other platforms at the time.

I, too, am enthusiastic about 3DS' future and hope that true shovelware is kept to a minimum on the platform. XBLA has plenty of shovelware but it seems more controlled than on Nintendo platforms somehow.

Mr_DSi

#67

Mr_DSi said:

The price tag on this is the only thing that is keeping me from purchasing it this Thursday...

bahooney

#68

bahooney said:

I'm actually really happy there aren't any boss fights! I hate 'em. Sometimes in a platformer you can feel when a boss challenge feel like it's shoe-horned in, and I definitely didn't want that for this. I will buy this as soon as I can!

Radixxs

#69

Radixxs said:

@69: I think I know what you're talking about. Sometimes the boss battles can ruin the flow of the game. Some games like Super Mario 3D have handled this very well, but I'm anxious to see how a lack of bosses makes the game feel.

Skitrules

#70

Skitrules said:

awesome review Corbie this game looks great i will get it when it comes out this thursday.
oh and i saw your name in the credits in a video game how did that happen?

VincentV

#71

VincentV said:

I'm actually slightly interested. Resident Evil and Kid Icarus...tempting...tempting. I don't know what to buy!

Tinky

#72

Tinky said:

This seems too much overhyped for me. I watched some gameplay footage from this game on youtube and I just can´t understand the 9/10 score at all..
It looks like a PC jump´n´run game from the early 90s to me, only that the PC jump´n´runs from that time were far more original :/

Mok

#73

Mok said:

Even though I'll be up to my ears in zombies I will still buy this. Sounds intoxicating.

retrox

#74

retrox said:

Hm, the last platformer I really, really enjoyed on a handheld was Hatsworth. Might be time to spend some of that money in my E-Shop account that's been sitting there gathering dust.

Azikira

#75

Azikira said:

So, from what I gathered from the review, it's a 2D Platformer Super Mario Sunshine/ Earthbound hybrid... That just screams awesome!

Metal_Slugger

#80

Metal_Slugger said:

I like the color scheme and the dork hero, but there doesn't seem much variety in the baddies or obstacles.

SteveW

#81

SteveW said:

I seriously don't understand it being a 9 out of 10, there are so many cheap deaths that cause you to start the entire level over again, it's so frustrating. Each level also feels like you are playing the same level over and over again but with stuff in different places. Not a great platformer unfortunately... maybe a 6 out of 10...

CorbsAdmin

#82

Corbs said:

Well it's received 9s and 10s at almost every outlet I've seen so far, so it appears you're in the minority. I personally wish the game was a bit more challenging, so I wouldn't want to see any checkpoints in the game. But everyone is different, so to each his own. If you don't like something, you don't like it. :D

SteveW

#83

SteveW said:

Frustration aside... I don't necessarily not like the game, I'm going to continue to play it but from what I have seen so far I just don't believe it is the same quality as something like Super Mario 3D Land (which also got a 9).

CorbsAdmin

#84

Corbs said:

My only gripe about Super Mario 3D Land from a personal perspective is that it was WAYYYYYYY to easy. But then again, all the Mario games generally are. Wish they'd crank that baby up a few notches. :D

grumblebuzzz

#85

grumblebuzzz said:

I'd have given it like a 7 or 8. It's fun, the graphics and music are nice, but it does get repetitive since there's not that much to it as far as weapons, attacks, special moves, story line, characters or unique, new environments. It's definitely no Cave Story but it's not a bad game either.

Azikira

#87

Azikira said:

Just bought this game, enjoying it so far, 3D effect is actually pretty neat. :3

player310

#89

player310 said:

Beautiful game, but does anyone else see this as poo evolving and taking over...?

IAmNotWill

#90

IAmNotWill said:

Honestly, I wish they would've stuck with the 3D platform game. This game has some of the most annoying level design ever. Collecting those coins and then dying at the end of the level is the worst, because you have to start over and grab them again. And it's always from a cheap death too, like a pit you didn't know was filled with spikes, or an enemy you didn't see until the last second. Not to mention Max himself moves like a tank and can't jump too high. And worse it's 9 dollars, which is way to much for a game like this.

I'm all for challenging games like Meat Boy, but this game can be cheap and annoying. I agree with SteveW on that I would've given this a 6 or 7. Such a disappointment. Should've gotten Pushmo instead. :/

gingerbeardman

#91

gingerbeardman said:

I just bought an eShop Card and wanted to get this, but it's not out in the UK yet? But the trailer is? Damn.

Battlefrog

#92

Battlefrog said:

I played this got a lot when I first got it and completed 18 out 20 levels with all of the diamonds. I think it was level 16 that made me want to rip my hair out (I'm bald too). I picked it up again tonight and level 19 has me wanting to do it again. There's a lot of retro charm to this game but I agree that the 9's this game is receiving are too generous. The difficulty curve skyrockets too early and then stays that way, the bad guys and power ups are rather bland as well. I grew up in the late 80's early 90's so I love retro games (like Cave Story) but Mutant Mudds reminds me that some things (like insane difficulty) are better left in the past. If you think the reason I didn't absolutely love this game is because my platforming skills are rusty....well, I've beaten Hell in Cave Story....so I don't think that's the problem.

Vriess

#93

Vriess said:

HEY!!! Can we get a European version now or what?!?!?! It can't take that long to translate English into four other languages!!

Still waiting for Sakura Samurai and VVVVVV as well! :(

atariman

#95

atariman said:

Mutant Mudds: a 9/10 huh. well I give this a 10/10 in my personal opinion. its a classic that deserves a 10/10.

atariman

#96

atariman said:

Its got that 8 bit vibe. Thats why I bought it. I like retro Games. Good job Regenade Kid!

DashChargedShot

#97

DashChargedShot said:

Seriously, anyone who doesn't have the game, get it. As far as eShop goes, it's probably the first or second best, really enjoyed DRW too, even with the somewhat hard controls.

NImH

#98

NImH said:

Such a good game! IMO, it's on par with the best NES/SNES platformers. I would've played this game to death as a kid... well, I play it a lot now...
But I would've been one pissy little shouting, controller-throwing 8 yr-old if it'd been released on NES. It's hard... but not too hard. I've learned to walk away and return again, fresh.
Almost completed!

atariman

#100

atariman said:

@ocarinadude14
I don't mean to be mean but You can't judge a game by its difficulty. Yes it is tough at the end but its still a really fun game. Hey go ahead give an 8/10, the rating you gave it didn't bother mean. bt judging by its difficulty is not really the right way.

rayword45

#101

rayword45 said:

I like the game, but it's NOT a 9/10. More like a borderline 7-8/10

Difficulty wasn't a big deal for me. Though, as some stated, certain obstacles were cheaply-placed, once you learn them it's not a big deal, and since it doesn't run like a real retro title in this case, it's not a problem at all. There are far more challenging platformers such as Super Meat Boy and the hell level of CS as many have stated.

The graphics, similar to MM9, don't feel legitimate, with the 12-bit style I've never really seen. The 3D effect was fantastic though, along with music.

The game itself felt slow-paced at times, which is my biggest gripe. A "run" button would've helped a bit.

atariman

#102

atariman said:

@rayword45
I love this game, it has a big retro charm, Over all, I give it a 9/10, You can't judge a game b it's difficulty though, I love the game so much!

Dogpigfish

#103

Dogpigfish said:

I owe renegade kid an apology from some of my earlier comments. This game has excellent quality and is well worth the price.

Dpishere

#105

Dpishere said:

I am definitely purchasing this when it goes on sale in a few weeks. I have been wanting to play this for a long time and that will be the perfect chance!

Magrane

#106

Magrane said:

It's on sale this week, and I've heard how good this game is. Might be worth my Mario munnies if I'm sold by it's demo. I'm a huge fan of retro games and always cautious about my purchases. I love Gunman Clive so I'm pretty sure I'll love this one too.

stayclose

#108

stayclose said:

This is a cool game but its too hard. I would like to see some type of power up along the way.

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