The ultimate collection of Mutant Mudds is out now on the Switch! That’s correct reader, you can now get your hands on the whole trilogy! Mutant Mudds Collection (Atooi, $14.99) should treat you right since it features 3 entire games on it. That means at this price value, each game is only $5 a piece! But is the game good enough for you, the consumer? Is it worth your hard earned cash? Does it deserve to take up space on your all too limited Nintendo Switch’s 32GB? Come on, let’s find out!
Heads up! This review will be a bit different:
Having a collection like this is nice. You have all three games in one place. However, since there are three separate games, I’m going to do this review as three miniature reviews. I’m going to talk about all of the normal aspects that I talk about when reviewing games. This way you can judge if you want the whole three pack if only one game was good, for instance.
I’ve got a fun little trailer for you:
Mutant Mudds Deluxe:
A little history lesson first before we jump into the info about this game. This game first was released on the 3DS as Mutant Mudds. In the game, you jump between platforms in the foreground and background. This was absolutely delightful for the 3DS as the 3D mode made the game even more beautiful and deep. This was my favorite way to play this game because I loved the 3D. Then time passed and Mutant Mudds Deluxe came out for the rest of the platforms with enhancements. But none of them had the 3D aspect to them that the 3DS had. But still, I played Mutant Mudds Deluxe on the Vita because the screen was larger than my the one on my 3DS at the time. Fast forward to now, I’m still able to play it on the go with the Switch, and I’m more than glad to play it again because the screen is even bigger!
You can probably already tell by my enthusiasm (and the fact that this is my bajillionth time playing it) that I love Mutant Mudds/Mutant Mudds Deluxe. I pine for retro games and this one just hit the spot so well. It has fantastic level design coupled with a wide array of colors. There are fantastic baddies throughout the levels as well. Not to mention the definitely challenging platforming. All of those things married with the great length of the game is a solid win in my book. And hands down, I’ve never played a game or had a go-to game like this other than Super Mario Bros. 3.
Mechanically speaking it’s not just a platformer. It seems to be more of an action-adventure game if I were to try to pigeonhole it into one genre. Yes, there is the platforming complete with a double jump meter. But you also dodge flying objects and can shoot too. The jumping to the background aspect also throws even more challenge at you because it’s slightly out of focus and the camera stays focused on the foreground. You’ll find plenty of hidden items within the nooks and crannies of the background platforms. If you collect all of the coin type things in every level you can obtain a more completionist feeling as you go. The game will keep track of every aspect of that for you. And if you want, you can always go back and replay a previous level to try to really hone in on getting everything.
My only complaints would be that I think we should be able to collect more hearts for life as we go. The bar should just keep adding more and more hearts and when you refill the hearts it should refill all hearts. Furthermore, I do believe that there should be a helper in the game for when you get stuck. Such as Mario has assist items now if you die enough times. I think a game like this would benefit tremendously from it, but maybe turn off the coins during the helper. This way the player is incentivized to go back and beat that level without help so that they can collect coins. Despite the small improvements that I think the game needs, it easily is worth $15 on its own. But keep reading, because maybe you need some more incentive to spend $15.
Mutant Mudds-Super Challenge:
This sequel game is definitely a re-hash of all of the best parts of Mutant Mudds Deluxe. It doesn’t feel like a cash grabbing sequel like some games feel like. This title puts our protagonist in a different story altogether. He is on the hunt for a meteor that has crash landed somewhere in a distant country far from him. Along the way, he has to fight foes most of them from the previous games, but there are some new ones that I didn’t recognize. There are a lot of the same environmental traps along the way like poisony, lava things that bubble up from down below and other hazards. Lots of reasons to use your gun and your double jump respectively.
This game definitely feels like the developer honed in on what was so great about the first game without bringing the feeling of beating a dead horse. Sadly, there isn’t much more to say about this game as it just feels like an extension of the first game. It feels like the first game never ended and you just get to keep playing. I find this to be fantastic because, as much as I love the length of the first game, I would love it to go on forever. The music is very strong as well as the sound effects. That all seems to be the same as the first game as well. I’m willing to bet it was just the same engine used for both games.
But the downside to this game being so similar to the first one is that it brings the complaints that I have about the first one with it. I think we should be able to add tons more hearts to our health bar. I also believe that we need the helper mode to appear if we keep dying in certain areas. Or, if not that, an option in the menu that we can turn on the helper. This way hardcore retro gamers can leave it off rather than it be a requirement.
This game does feel shorter to me, I had only played like an hour of it in the past on my PS Vita before I had moved on. It’s a great game, but life happened back then, so I had to stop. I think the Switch is the perfect place to have this trilogy. Even if this game may be a little bit shorter than it’s older brother and feels more like an expansion pack, I don’t think that it takes away from anything. I think that the Mutant Mudds-Super Challenge probably isn’t worth $15 on its own or anything. But if you think of this in terms of each game being $5 a piece, it is definitely a must.
So, Mudd Blocks is a puzzle game that is truly unlike any other. First of all, you have 2 player versus and 2 player co-op modes, which I think is all too necessary in puzzle games. You can also play single player in Endless mode, Rescue mode, 3 Minutes mode, or Numbers. All of those modes also support TATE mode as well! For those of you who are unsure what TATE mode is, I’ll tell you. TATE mode is a monitor or screen that is designed to have a portrait or a vertical picture. So the developer decided to add a mode where you can hold the Switch in a portrait view. This works with the Joy-cons still attached if you’d like or you can put your Switch on a stand in TATE mode and use a Joy-Con separate. This will not work on your Switch in docked mode though. I mean, you’d have to have a vertical TV anyhow if you wanted to play this one game in TATE mode. Bottom line here, the TATE mode makes this game so, so, so much better. I promise you.
Otherwise, the puzzle game itself is pretty fun. You can choose between using the thumbstick or D-Pad to move. The thumbstick is the default configuration, and quite frankly, it’s perfect. Then you simply match up squares that you get with their respective colors. The blocks do not automatically disappear when they’re matched in 3 or more configurations like most games. They have to be stack into multiples first and then you can break them by throwing the sphere at them. This will sometimes trigger a chain reaction with other blocks that do different things. If you have a box with chains and a lock on it, you will have to hit it more than once first with a sphere before it will disappear. So still line it up with other colors if you can. Of course, in the faster levels, those locked boxes are going to get in the way, adding to the challenge.
This is definitely the most original puzzle game that I’ve come across in the last 5 years easily. I’m so impressed with the unique but retro aspects of this game. I find it more fun against a friend than any of the other modes but to each his own of course. If you’re wondering what the other modes consist of, I have some quick breakdowns for you. In Rescue, you play the role of Grandma who has to rescue the main character from a cage. The cage has to have the blocks around it broken down, and then the cage itself. The cage must be hit 50 times before it will open. 3 Minutes mode is just a shortened version of Endless mode. Rack up the best score you can in 3 minute’s time. Then you can always go back and try to beat your own score later. Numbers mode is the only one that seems to be the hardest to figure out just by playing. The best way I can explain it, and I could be wrong, is the following. In this mode, you simply play the game as you would, but with a twist. There will be 3 blocks with numbers. The numbers are 1, 2, and 3. You have to break them in numerical order and once you do, the level is done and a new level is loaded.
All in all, this game is a treat, but not a good enough game to warrant buying the whole collection. If you disliked the other Mutant Mudds games, do not buy this collection just for a puzzle game. However, if you are a puzzle game FANATIC, you may find value in it, especially because you can view it as the other 2 games are an added bonus. And if you’re only really interested in the other 2 games, then as I said, this game is just icing on the cake!
My love of these games is overwhelming, the developer clearly has a love for the olden days of gaming. The care and time put into these titles in the first place really shines through in this trilogy. Even if these games never get my small bits of advice thrown into them, I will still play them. I think my ideas are more for younger people that want to play platformers but need help getting into them. All in all though, the three games are a delightful blessing.
With regards to how the game is packaged, I love it. You can go into any game and there is a way to back out into the main menu again. I was dreading the game, guessing I’d have to reset the whole game every time I wanted to play a different game. Additionally, each game has their own leaderboards so you can see who ranks where. Especially with Mudd Blocks, it doesn’t just have an overall leaderboard, but leaderboards for each and every mode in that game. They really took the time to do this right. If I had to give this game a score, it would be almost a full 10! 9.5/10
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