Developing a sequel can sometimes be a no win situation for a developer. After all, there are certain expectations with a sequel that aren’t applicable to a brand new game. Balancing what people liked about the original, while also making sure that the follow-up seems fresh can be quite the challenge. Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for Mutant Mudds developer, Renegade Kid.
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge is the highly anticipated follow-up to one of the 3DS eShop’s earliest standouts. The platform shooter was well received by both fans and critics alike, thanks to its solid fundamentals, gorgeous art style and replay value. Super Challenge basically takes everything that people enjoyed about the original, adds in a few new ideas, and ratchets it all up a notch.
The biggest change in Mutant Mudds Super Challenge is that it’s a much more difficult game. If you’ve played the original, then you know that Mutant Mudds already offered up a healthy challenge. So much so, that when the game got ported to other systems they added a checkpoint system to make it easier. This time around levels will test your skills, and patience, from the very get go, since there isn’t much of a difficulty curve.
As someone who was able to 100% complete the original game, I ended up dying over a dozen times on Super Challenge‘s first level. It’s an incredibly ruthless affair, but one that is completely skill-based. You’ll be expected make jumps with pinpoint accuracy, as there are plenty of hazards that will cause one-hit kills, and execute your game plan flawlessly on difficult levels. Thankfully, there is a single checkpoint (which can be turned off if you’re a masochist) in each stage, which makes this a less frustrating experience.
While it may seem daunting, there is no denying that Super Challenge is incredibly satisfying once you complete a level. You earn every victory in Mutant Mudds, with every level completion feeling like an actual accomplishment. Only a combination of patience, persistence, and learning from your own mistakes can make you succeed in what is one of the Nintendo 3DS’ most difficult titles.
Gameplay wise not much has changed in this sequel. You’re still equipped with your water gun to battle the muddy monsters, and a jetpack that allows you to hover over bottomless pits. While there are a few new level mechanics, such as destructible walls, this is still largely Mutant Mudds. That isn’t a complaint, though, as the original game played great.
There is one major addition, however, and that is the new challenge of boss fights. These difficult battles are hidden away at first, as you’ll have to collect all of the coins in a world before they are unlocked. This is a great addition to the Mudds formula, and it adds some much needed variety to a game that can feel a bit too familiar at times. Defeating said bosses then unlocks a level in the game’s final world.
Each world is composed of 5 different levels (one of which is a boss encounter), but there’s plenty of secrets to find within these stages. For example, a retro-themed stage is hidden in each level (a sort of levelception if you will) that you’ll have to find in order to complete the game. Other bonuses include 20 secret characters, which are mostly cameos from other indie games, and 100 coins that players will need to collect.
While not a knock against Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, I should make it clear that this is not the right game for players who are new to the series. If you’re down for some highly polished 2D platforming, buy the original game instead. Renegade Kid expects players to have completed the original, which is why this one starts off so difficult. This is not a good starting point, but it is a fantastic expansion to check out after you’ve mastered the original.
Also worth noting is that Super Challenge supports cross-buy on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. That means that, if you buy one version of the game, you’ll get the other for free. Sadly, there’s no ability to transfer your save between versions, so you’ll have to make a choice on if you want to play on your TV or 3DS. One big advantage to the handheld version is that the game looks simply amazing in 3D. This is due to its multi-layered levels being designed around the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D.
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge definitely lives up to its name. Renegade Kid has crafted a difficult platformer that will punish you for sloppy play, but reward you for perseverance. While it’s not the ambitious sequel some would’ve wanted, Super Challenge delivers more of the fundamentally sound platforming action that gamers have come to expect from the series.
This review is based on the Nintendo 3DS version, which we were provided with.
It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but Mutant Mudds Super Challenge is some of the finest platforming you can buy. It's a highly polished package that will test your mettle as a gamer.