Friday, June 15, 2012

First Impressions: Mutant Mudds (3DS)

I first heard about Mutant Mudds quite a while back when it was still in development from Renegade Kid.  You know, the people who brought us Moon Dementium: The Ward and Dementium II.  I like to support developers who are somewhat small that create great games.  I'm looking at you too Silicon Knights (Eternal Darkness, Too Human).  Anyway, back to Mutant Mudds.

With the recent acquisition of a 3DS system, I purchased Mutant Mudds from Nintendo's eShop.  The game runs as a simple and basic platformer.  You have your character, platforms and enemies.  You're armed with a water gun that shoots more-or-less the width of the screen.  Your life meter is 3 hearts and so far, there has been nothing in the game to replenish your life meter.  If you land on spikes, you die (a la Mega Man) and have to start the level over from the beginning.  You have one life, but infinite continues.  The level length is really well constructed as well, with levels never seeming too long.  The first time through though, I sometimes wondered how much longer I could go with only 1 heart left, but on subsequent playthroughs, the levels almost seemed short, but that was because I knew what to do.

You also have a hydro-jet pack that lets you pretty much hover for a short time (Think Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2).  On specific tiles, you can jump to the foreground or the back-back-ground.  Things in the other "grounds" don't get in your way and cannot affect you, you just know they're there.  In each level there're 100 "coins" that you can only collect once, even when replaying the level; you are able to pick up coins you missed though.  I don't know how many levels there are, but I think there're around 40.

Renegade Kidd, in my opinion has nailed a great 16-bit style platformer.  Even the music is simple and somewhat reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario Bros. 2.  It makes perfect use of the 3D effect and even if you don't have the 3D effect turned all the way up or even if it's off, it still looks great and plays the was it's supposed to be played.

At the moment, I've only played four of the levels, but it's still a blast and well worth the $8 I spent to tell a smallish game developer, "Hey, I really like what you do.  Keep at it."

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