Reviewed by Brett
Publisher – Team17
Developer – Reinkout Games
Category – Puzzle, Action, Adventure
Release Date – July 17, 2018
Its the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine
Mugseters developed by Reinkout Games and published by Team17, not that you would know it from its title, is a action puzzle sandbox game about saving humans from an alien invasion. Or something like that. What I can say for certain is that its fun while your doing it.
As i said the story is about you saving people from a seeming alien invasion. That’s it. There is no spoken or written dialogue in game so its pretty much up to you to fill in the narrative of how you think things are playing out.
Its the end of the world or so it might seem and its up to you to save the last of the humans. You will start in a hub area that contains three sections. One area is I suppose your house. There’s a couch, some cabinets and a vending machine that dispenses exploding barrels. You know, all the basics.
Islands is basically your stage select, each stage is represented by a portal on the ground that will also show you what you have completed on each level. Not all levels are unlocked immediately and some must be beaten to progress. You will find 25 levels to tackle here.
The rescued area is where all the humans you save from levels go. Here there are four roller coaster cars that you can fill up with rescued humans. When one is full you can launch it into a portal which will unlock a door in the hub.
The rest of the hub is basically a giant race track. when you rescue enough humans you will open the door to a garage that has four different vehicles in it, each one seemingly faster than the last. You can then use these vehicles to race around a timed track to beat your best time, which appears to be the only function of the course.
The meat of Mugsters comes from the levels themselves. You will be teleported to an island and given some tasks to do all while evading certain death from anything that is moving and a lot of things that are not. You will do this driving a ton of different vehicles or simply running about. Most enemies you will either have to cleverly take out with exploding barrels or trick into taking themselves out, standard red enemies can be dealt with with a standard punch.
You do not actually need to do the objectives and can pass any island by escaping its boarders, this is almost always done by getting in a flying vehicle of some type and flying over the water to freedom, a few times there was a bridge that allowed me to drive to the edge to complete a stage. However you do it that’s all that needs to be done for a standard level completion. If you do manage to complete all objectives you will unlock a time trial for that stage. Collecting all humans in all stages will unlock every garage on the hub island and collecting every crystal will unlock the final stage, level 25. On level 25 you will find a puzzle that will unlock the true ending and clues are scattered throughout all previous levels.
Each level has three objectives for you.
- Save all the humans in the level – Each level is filled with its own unique dangers, from electrified fences, to strange red men the want to kill you, to giant alien crafts that fill suck you up and kill you instantly. No matter the dangers around you, you are always tasked with saving humans that are trapped inside glass chambers. Breaking the glass will free them and then they will follow you through the rest of the level until you leave the island. Now rescuing the humans from the chambers is the easy part, keeping them alive is where it gets tricky. After much trial and error I found it best to complete other objectives and then save the humans and proceed straight to the exit. Humans can and will die instantly. Aliens rouge explosions and even botched jumps will send your humans to an early grave and force you to try again.
- Collect all the crystals in a level – Spread throughout the level in plain sight are green crystals, collecting all of them is always an objective. Much like the humans they are generally easy to collect, some are harder than others, either being in a hard to reach high area or surrounded by dangerous enemies. Also like the humans collecting them while going through the level can prove disastrous as a blast from an explosion or enemy can send crystals flying off of you and sometimes careening into the water from which they are irretrievable. So i found it best to collect these after dealing with enemies.
- Random environment objective – these objectives change per level. It can be something like fixing an electrical connection or destroying a field of turbines. They are always interactive and usually involve using vehicles. Best to do these before other objectives.
Mugsters has a lovely slightly cell shaded look about using a simple but vibrant color pallet that makes basically everything in the environment pop. Enemy designs are well done and the a.i can give you a real challenge at times, i do wish there was a little more variety but found every level to be engaging. One sore note is the fact that there are not many notes. There is some atmospheric tones and when you hop in certain trucks a ice cream truck style little ditty will play but besides that Mugsters can be quite devoid of musical life.
My entire time with Mugsters was very enjoyable. Just messing around trying to beat my time in the hub island I lost a few hours. With 25 levels to complete and master there is a lot of content to fill up on. Visuals were very pleasant but a lack of music can be felt throughout. Having completed everything to do I can say you will definitely get your moneys worth in this fun indie. Its also a good match for portable, playing a quick time trial or snagging some left over humans or crystals you missed is great for play on the go. Despite its musical shortcomings this is absolutly another great indie to add to your ever growing switch collection.