Let’s get this out of the way first: Mutant Mudds is one of the best platformers on iOS. If you’re a fan of games like League of Evil, Mos Speedrun, or any Sonic the Hedgehog game, Mutant Mudds is right up your alley. Buy it. You’ll love it.
Mutant Mudds originally came out earlier this year on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It’s a retro-style 2D platformer full of very cleverly designed levels. Most of the environments and obstacles are things we’ve all seen before, like lava, spikes, and moving platforms, but they’re used in very clever and devious ways here.
It’s hammer time.
One thing that sets this game apart is that the levels are made up of several planes. This means that when you jump on a transport block, you actually leap into the foreground or background, where whole sections of the level are placed. It’s a neat feature, and it illustrates the ways they’ve brought modern game design to a classic genre. They’ve also installed much-needed checkpoints in each level, so when you bite the inevitable dust you never lose too much progress.
Despite the cushiony checkpoints, you need to be prepared for a challenge if you play this game, because it’s not messing around. You will die over and over as you make your way through the game. Thankfully, it’s not the dispiriting kind of challenge; rather, it’s the kind that makes you want to try again. And again, and again.
Given the difficulty of the platforming, the big question is whether the touch controls are up to the task. We’re glad to report that they absolutely are. The touch buttons on the screen work extremely well, and rarely in the hundreds of times we died could we blame the controls. Even without physical buttons, Mutant Mudds on iOS feels just right.
Another of the modern conveniences of the game is its upgrade cycle. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock a better gun, a longer hover ability, and a super-high vertical jump. But until you collect all the coins and beat all the levels (including secret levels), you can only equip one upgrade at a time. If you want to get a 100% completion rate, you’ll have to play each level at least twice, so there’s plenty of reason to keep coming back.
Mutant Mudds also has a fantastic retro aesthetic, with pixel art and a chiptune soundtrack. If you grew up playing NES games like Mario, Contra, and Ninja Gaiden, you’ll feel right at home here. Mutant Mudds is a wonderfully designed retro-style game, and one of the best ports we’ve played on iOS. Chances are, you won’t be able to stop playing once you start. Just make sure you’re prepared for a challenge.