Mutant Mudds Super Challenge Review0 Comments
Reviewed on: 3DS
Also available on: Wii U
Developer: Renegade Kid
Publisher: Renegade Kid
In 2012, indie developer Renegade Kid released what became their best-selling — and perhaps best-loved — game to date: Mutant Mudds. It was a quirky little platformer that featured a blonde-haired, bespectacled kid named Max who was out to put an end to an invasion of muddy, alien mutants with his super soaker-esque water gun. Aside from its stylistic, 8-bit-inspired visuals and charming music, Mutant Mudds won gamers over and ultimately succeeded because of its focus on pure platforming.
Five ports, two large content updates, and four years later, we're finally getting Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge — not so much a sequel as it is a stand-alone expansion of sorts for fans who want... well, a real challenge. For those familiar with the original game, Super Challenge definitely shows that it's not a full-blown sequel, as it reuses many of the assets from the original game, including Max himself, the power-ups, most of the enemies, and many of the obstacles in each level. However, that's not such a bad thing in and of itself, since there is a good amount that is fresh.
The new additions to this game are improvements on the original's groundwork, including an expanded hub world, the ability to switch between the game's three different powerups from the start, and bosses that cap off each of the game's five worlds. Every world also has one "ghost level" — a type of level formerly introduced in Mutant Mudds' second batch of DLC — in which the Mudds are all ghosts and cannot be defeated (except temporarily with a certain power-up), making it all the more challenging.
When you get down to it, though, this is still Mutant Mudds through and through — only better, and arguably much tougher. Super Challenge is relentless in its difficulty right from its first level; in fact, it's entirely likely you'll die no less than perhaps 10 times before you make it through. While the basic formula is the same — make it to the end of the level by shooting Mudds and using your water jetpack to hover and make difficult jumps between platforms and over spikes and gaps, all while collecting 100 gold medals along the way — Super Challenge was designed for series veterans. If this is your first experience with the series, you're probably going to want to start with the original Mutant Mudds first, lest you risk throwing your 3DS against the wall and breaking it due to its challenging nature.
However, the difficulty is well done for the most part. There are definitely some parts that feel almost too unfair, such as some later levels where patience and trial and error are called for because the enemy movement patterns are not in sync with platforms that appear and reappear every second or two. And though the bosses are a welcome addition that add a lot of flavor to the game, most are extremely tough and perhaps could have been tweaked slightly, if only because the margin for error is almost non-existent here as well.
That said, it's obvious that Mutant Mudds creator Jools Watsham spent a significant amount of time expertly designing the game's challenging atmosphere and tweaking it to get the difficulty exactly where he wanted. Beyond the difficulty, many of the levels are much more interesting and varied in design than the previous game, a testament to Watsham's veteran experience having created the original game plus two fairly extensive level expansions over the years leading up to Super Challenge.
Once again, the 8-bit-esque visuals are just as charming and a joy to behold, and the boss designs add much more character to the enemy variety this time around as well (especially the third boss, which has large and distinct cartoon lips; it's great). And if you enjoyed the original game's soundtrack, Super Challenge features the return of several tracks, in addition to all new ones — most of which are great, and catchy to boot. In fact, you can now collect a CD in each level that will unlock all of the songs from the original game plus the new ones in Super Challenge for you to listen to, which is also a neat addition.
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge might not be a full-blown sequel in terms of new concepts, but it's almost certainly halfway there (if not more) with its inclusion of certain additions, such as bosses. Once again, it must be stated that this is a game built for veterans of the series; if this is your first go with the series, you'd be better served playing the original instead, as Super Challenge is very difficult. Otherwise, I have no problem saying that it's the superior game between the two. If you played and liked Mutant Mudds, or you enjoy hard-as-nails platformers, Mutant Mudds Super Challenge comes highly recommended.
The review copy of this game was a digital code provided by the publisher
Difficult, yet satisfying and rewarding