Mugsters is a game which can be played either solo or in multiplayer, offering a variety of challenging and fun gameplay. The premise is to rescue humans and escape each level with them still alive, with the twist being that you’ll make use of a variety of vehicles in order to do so. I have to say I’ve loved every minute of my time with Mugsters, even though it’s as equally frustrating as it is fun.
Things start off simple enough, seeing you get in a car, knocking down some walls and breaking the cylinders spread throughout the levels in order to rescue the humans, before escaping using the aircraft which is always waiting in placed at the end of the level. There are other tasks thrown in too in order to add to the challenge. For instance, you’ll want to find and collect all of the crystals in each level, while other requirements may include fixing switches or connections before you escape.
Of course, as you move through the levels they’ll get a lot tougher. Enemies are introduced which run at you, although you can dispatch them with a punch or run them over with one of the many vehicles. Later still you’ll face large a flying contraption which can swallow you whole. You won’t be running this one over, although you can use the exploding barrels spread throughout the levels to blow it to pieces.
It’s a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get past each level and you’ll certainly need your wits about you to do so. Sometimes you’ll need to think outside the box, for instance, if you see a crystal on what looks like an unreachable area then you could always use a car to jump over the gap or maybe you’ll want to blow something up in order to make the crystal more obtainable.
Some walls and gates are unbreakable, so often you’ll need to use vehicles or exploding barrels to blow up another wall in order to find switches, which in turn will remove these barriers. Sometimes you’ll have to avoid trip wires too, which can trigger traps and explode your vehicle. If you do find your vehicle is about to explode then you will have a few seconds to escape, just make sure you get out of the blast radius or you’ll be starting over.
The frustration in Mugsters comes when the humans you have freed follow you around, as sometimes you may run them over or they could get blown up should you’re vehicle get damaged. They may even jump off the end of the level into the water or you may crush them with your aeroplane just as you are about to escape. The reason this is so frustrating is that you can’t move on to the next level unless you rescue all the humans, although you can still finish the level at least, with any other objectives you complete remaining recorded. Just be sure to be careful with these fragile escapees.
The variety of vehicles in the levels is great. From cars to buses, service vehicles, combine harvesters, tractors, jet planes and even hot air balloons, allowing you to explore and find all the humans and crystals. The vehicles types don’t tend to make too much difference to the gameplay at first, however as you progress you really start to see why there are some many different types on offer. As a bonus, they are also all very fun to drive/fly around and have fun with.
When it comes to the presentation Mugsters looks fantastic. It is colourful and quite playful, having the look of a Micro Machines style title. The gameplay is also very smooth, no matter what is happening on the screen. Add in the well-designed levels, which offer plenty of variety and it makes it feel like you are in a different setting each time.
In between levels you can visit the main island. Here you can customise your character, by giving him a cape for instance, while you can also unlock vehicles to race around the level with any cars you may have unlocked by rescuing all the humans. There is even a rocket to fly. What more could you ask for?
Whether you are playing alone or with a friend, you’ll find a Mugsters to be a challenging and fun game. It looks fantastic and can be quite tricky at times but it has that ‘just one more go feel’ which will always have you coming back for more.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*