Mutant Mudds Deluxe is the Wii U eShop updated version of the critically acclaimed 3DS, PC, and iOS 2D platformer Mutant Mudds by Renegade Kid. As I have never played the original game, the new Wii U version (complete with bonus content and improved visuals) seemed like the perfect place to try out this heralded indie title.
Mutant Mudds is in many ways a traditional classic platformer. Immediately noticeable is the beautiful sprite work Renegade Kid has done, which surely only looks better thanks to its new home being the HD Nintendo console. Furthermore, the music is filled with all of the bleeps and bloops you could want, but with enough unique hum-worthy catchiness and layers to know that the soundtrack does more than ape the efforts of past artists.
More importantly, the gameplay itself does feel reminiscent of some classic franchises. The game follows main character Maxwell as he traverses levels with his blaster to take down monsters, jetpack over gaps, and jumping ability for the expected platforming. While much of the level design (collect this, kill that, jump over this by avoiding that) is as you expect from this kind of game, Mutant Mudds separates itself from the pack via its lack of linearity and Maxwell’s ability to go between layers of the screen.
As Maxwell goes through the various levels, there are platforms that you can use to jump between multiple layers of the screen. Though one might think it’s only practical use is changing perspective, the constant action of changing layers in the screen and moving back and forth between areas keeps the gameplay from being a slog of going left-to-right and going to the next level. Furthermore, it also encourages exploration when you see a collectible or door in the background and start planning a route to get there. The game also discourages linearity through its use of doors. As you play the game, there are many doors you will come across that open up different ways to traverse a given level. This opens up a lot of room to re-play levels to try to see everything there is to see.
Of course, one would only be encouraged to re-play levels if the base game itself is worthy of putting time into, and Mutant Mudds definitely is. Outside of the things that make it unique, Mutant Mudds is just a really well-put together platformer. The challenge can sometimes be brutal and the platforming tasks specific, but Maxwell’s physics are tight enough and the checkpoints forgivable enough that as hard as the game gets, Renegade Kid goes out of its way to make sure it’s still fair. Fun and diversity can also be found in the level design itself. Though I seemingly shrugged it off a little while back, the levels do a great job of feeling diverse; one level might be simply going from start to finish, but then the following level is vertical with specific platforming in the vein of Kid Icarus. Out of the dozens of levels in this release, all of them are built around unique ideas and a high difficulty that makes for a rewarding and addicting experience.
The Deluxe version of the game brings 20 Wii U-exclusive levels on top of all of the content already available. Available from the start, the new content is in the form of ghost levels that feature things like tougher enemies, new power-ups, and remixes of all of the original levels. In addition to that, the GamePad can also be used for a zoomed-in look of Maxwell to have a better perspective on how to plan your next move. It’s small, but it proved to be invaluable on a few of the more challenging sections.
In a few words, Mutant Mudds Deluxe is a very good game. It looks good, it plays good, it sounds good, and it feels good. That’s all there is to it.