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Mutant Mudds Super Challenge Review

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On 03/17/2016 at 12:00 PM by Nick DiMola

If this was actually an old school game, Renegade Kid would’ve needed more than one byte for my death counter :(

If you're into challenging games, retro games, or you enjoyed the original, you should absolutely grab a copy. Plus, it's cross-buy and there's a discount!

257 - that’s the number of deaths I incurred on my voyage to 100% completion of Renegade Kid’s latest title and follow-up to 2012’s cult classic, Mutant Mudds. If you were wondering if it was indeed a “Super Challenge”, rest assured, it is. That being said, the original Mutant Mudds wasn’t exactly the easiest of games either. Certainly not the hardest, but a great old school challenge nonetheless. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge carries on the concepts of the original but brings 40 new, masterfully crafted levels that remove nearly all margin of error that the original game afforded.

All depending on your preferences, this could be exactly the type of follow-on you were hoping for; however, if you felt the original was already at the edge of your capabilities, Super Challenge might be too much to handle. For me, Super Challenge hits the sweet spot – extremely challenging but completely fair. If I died, it was because I screwed up. There’s no randomness, no room to blame “the computer”. Just you, rock solid, dependable controls, and a set of levels that require exact execution.

When you get everything just right, it feels almost surreal. Like Neo in the Matrix – the world is moving at your whim. If you lose the timing of the level, get hit, or fumble through a specific section, it’s the total opposite. Everything might as well be out to kill you (and generally speaking, it is). Though likely a cliché comparison, Mutant Mudds Super Challenge (MMSC) so often feels like Dark Souls. You have to know when it’s appropriate to rush in no-holds barred and seize the moment, but also when to play it safe and leverage your opportunities to attack unseen.

I think this really speaks to the level design of MMSC. Setting a rhythm for each level and making sure the challenges are surmountable is no simple task. Undoubtedly a tremendous amount of effort and playtesting was done on each and every level to ensure the perfect balance was met. Throw in the specific themes of each world, which includes both unique environmental hazards that affect gameplay (ice, fireballs, spikes) and unique enemies, and not only is the level design more impressive, but varied as well. Sometimes the challenge of a given level is hitting the right timing, other times it’s negotiating a pathway or exploiting a power-up, and in even other instances, it’s about observing your surroundings and making precise jumps and attacks.

Intermingled with these challenges are secret exits as found in the previous game. It's always a joy finding them as you're traversing the level and the Virtual Boy and Game Boy-inspired themes still remain novel the second time around.

While most of MMSC leverages assets from the previous game, there’s a touch of newness with the world end boss levels. These too are well-designed and certainly carry an old school feel to them. They will require that you analyze or memorize the actions of the boss and execute perfectly to ensure success. It’s unlikely you’ll beat them on your first try, but it’s good fun learning and understanding their behaviors and eventually achieving success.

Even now that I’ve completed all of the levels in the game and found all of the 100 golden diamonds in each level, there’s still a set of 20 hidden characters to unlock. I’m not sure what that entails, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that there’s more fun stuff to see and do because I simply can’t get enough of this series. If you enjoy challenging games, retro games, or you loved the original you absolutely would be doing yourself a disservice if you miss Mutant Mudds Super Challenge. It’s an extremely well-crafted experience that you’ll be happy to grit your teeth through.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/17/2016 at 06:15 PM

I think I'll sit this one out. Laughing

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

03/20/2016 at 09:31 PM

Sounds like I've got a new game on my "to-play" list. Thanks Nick.

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