Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

Relevant for platform: NSW

There are games that are both entertaining and infuriating at the same time. And after another failure, you don’t want to turn them off – on the contrary, having gathered, you complete all the tasks, because you like the gameplay itself. Yes, and it is interesting what situation you will find yourself in at the next level and what surprises await there. All this applies to the fun puzzle Mugsters – it turned out to be the spiritual successor to Blast Corps from the Nintendo 64.

last hope

The essence is as simple as possible. Aliens attacked the planet, captured humanity and scattered creepy people across different regions. For some reason, the main character was not among the poor fellows and went to save the innocent. This he will do for 25 levels. And if the first islands are passed literally on the first attempt, then difficulties begin further.

Each level offers three tasks. First, you need to free the hostages by breaking the flasks with them. Secondly, it is desirable to find crystals, most often located in hard-to-reach places. Well, the third order is always different – you may be asked to fix the device, bring some details to a given place, or direct the rays to a certain point.

The main advantage of tasks of the third type is that upon completion they are counted and remain completed even in the event of death or restart. But with people and crystals, it’s a little more difficult – you need to get on a plane, which usually stands in the opposite corner of the location, and fly away safely. There are no impossible tasks that would make you tear your hair out on your head in Mugsters – after a couple of failed attempts, everything can be completed.

However, the player constantly encounters new obstacles that make tasks more difficult. It all starts with the usual situation: the hero gets on the island, one person needs to be saved, and up to two crystals are within easy reach. But then two-headed aliens start running nearby, a lot of vehicles, traps and alien technologies appear, you have to interact with buttons and levers – in general, what kind of adventures await the protagonist.

Mugsters game review

Some walls cannot be destroyed, but white ones always fall apart.

The character has very few abilities. He can fight back any alien by hitting him a couple of times with his fist. Another hero is able to throw barrels in such a way that after a couple of seconds they explode. But most importantly, he skillfully drives any car, whether it’s a fast racing car or a clumsy bulldozer.

The last skill will be especially useful to him – he has to travel here often. Either it will be necessary to leave the car on a large button, preventing the gate from closing, or it will be necessary to drive into the energy field at high speed and thus destroy it. With the help of cars, you can demolish walls, which barrels can handle, but access to them is not always available. And the car, especially strong, will withstand a lot of blows on fragile structures.

Save everyone and save yourself

All levels, especially the later ones, are full of various kinds of objects. At some point, jumping “pieces of iron” will begin to follow the hero, exploding on contact with him. Then you will meet a huge flying saucer, which will smash everything in its path, just to catch up with the character. Additional tasks will become a little more sophisticated, and the number of barrels, buttons and vehicles will increase significantly. Sometimes the plane on which you are escaping with the hostages will need to be turned around before takeoff, otherwise it will explode.Mugsters game review

The barrel explodes a couple of seconds after being thrown.

Scattered crystals sometimes end up where it is impossible to reach at first glance. For example, one of them may lie on a high stone, and it is problematic to jump to it. You have to look for other ways: drive up to the mountain in a truck and climb up while standing on it, or even fly up in a balloon if there is one somewhere nearby. There are no particularly original puzzles here, but trying to complete all the tasks, using all the possibilities and not dying, is very exciting.

There were no problems. The main one is connected with the survivors, whose artificial intelligence is incredibly stupid. They constantly follow the savior, but over and over again get stuck in objects, are not able to jump even over low obstacles, and sometimes even fall into the water and die. What can we say about situations when a plate is chasing a player and there is a high probability of an explosion of tanks, and these idiots, without the slightest instinct of self-preservation, die and are forced to start all over again.

Some levels turned out to be long, and it’s very disappointing when, because of the stupidity of the little men, you are rescuing them in a new way. It was especially sad in the task where there were logs with thorns in a narrow passage and I successfully managed to run past them, and the two survivors did not even try to get around them. Since then, the most logical decision was to leave the search for people in the end, and take them to the plane exclusively by vehicle – so they definitely won’t die.

Although technology sometimes also behaves strangely. You can get out of the car in full confidence that you stopped it, and it will continue to slowly move forward or backward and fall into the sea. This is especially annoying if you need to put the car on a large button. You get out, run to the opened gate, and then turn around and get behind the wheel again – you need to make sure that the car is in place. Minor downside, but still.

Mugsters game review

The rescued quickly get into the car after being released.

***

Mugsters can hardly be called outstanding, but it can brighten up a couple of evenings thanks to its excellent gameplay, variety of situations and interesting tasks. Blowing up walls, throwing barrels and rolling around the islands, bouncing on trampolines, is a lot of fun. If the AI ​​of the survivors wasn’t so bad, Mugsters would be even more fun to play. Fortunately, the brainless poor fellows can always be left for later.

Pros: a variety of puzzle levels; blowing up barrels and destroying walls does not bother; the process of collecting crystals is very exciting; support for local co-op.

Cons: The narrative element is completely absent; survivors are very stupid and often die or get stuck; monotonous music.

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