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Mutant Mudds

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone, 3DS

Jumping to a higher plane

Product: Mutant Mudds | Developer: Renegade Kid | Publisher: Renegade Kid | Format: iPad | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Mutant Mudds iPad, thumbnail 1
Life in a 2D platformer must be oddly frustrating.

All those glorious, vibrant pixel-art landscapes whizzing past in the background, yet you can never hope to go and smell the flowers or walk in the hills.

Nope, you're stuck on a single plane filled with roving enemies, treacherous gaps, and insta-death spikes.

Platform heaven

If that's the case, then Mutant Mudds's universe must be some kind of Utopia for Sonic, Mario, and co.

While Mutant Mudds is a pretty generic retro 2D platformer in most respects, it has one neat twist - you can skip over to the background at certain points throughout the levels, as well as jumping forward to the foreground.

It's a lovely effect, with your pixellated protagonist, enemies, and level furniture scaling nicely depending on how deep you are in the world.

It's not just a matter of size, either - the subtle differences in shading help ground you in this unusually three-dimensional world.

Jetpack joyride

This plane-switching dynamic helps make the gameplay more interesting too, as there are always two blue stars to collect in each stage - one for a pretty straightforward run through to the end and one tucked away in a tricky little side-level. You'll only reach the latter with a little plane-hopping exploration.

In order to reach some of these you'll need to power-up three core categories in Grannie's Attic. You can extend the height of your jumps, the range of your jetpack (which lets you extend your jumps), and the range of your gun.

These are purchased with the golden diamonds dotted throughout each stage, and it'll take a fair few levels before you're able to afford your first upgrade.

Stuck in the mudd

Mutant Mudds is actually a port of a Nintendo 3DS eShop game, which we reviewed back in June. Back then we found the game to be a fine retro platformer, but took issue with some slightly fiddly control mechanics.

This should set alarm bells ringing for this iOS conversion, which uses an unavoidably inferior virtual control system. But, as virtual control systems go, Mutant Mudds acquits itself well. Here they're responsive and reasonably reliable, and there's a welcome option to move them around the screen (essential on iPad).

However, the game retains those irritating moments where you have to hang in the air using your jetpack at awkward points, and they're no easier to execute with virtual controls. This leads to a number of missed shots, irritating falls, and insta-deaths.

Fortunately, the App Store isn't quite so replete with classic platformers as Nintendo's handheld, so we're not holding Mutant Mudds up to quite the same strict standards.

As such, its winning aesthetic, tight 2D platformer gameplay, and worthwhile plane-switching mechanic make it a worthy purchase for retro-fanatics looking for a quirky challenge on iOS.
 
Mutant Mudds
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 7 December 2012
Mutant Mudds remains a fun yet frustrating experience on iOS, with its quirky plane-switching mechanic going some way to making up for its frustratingly exacting 2D platform gameplay
 
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Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
15
skyluigi | 19:06 - 18 December 2012
I'm always a little sad when I see games get ported to iOS; it always seems to me like the producers are selling out.
Having said that, more sales means a bigger likelihood of a sequel... right? ;)
 
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