Mugsters Review (Switch)
Mugsters is the type of game that is hard to put down. I’ve attempted to write this review multiple times, and I’ve frequently stopped to pick Mugsters right back up and play. I wouldn’t say it is groundbreaking in its gameplay, yet it is very well executed.
Mugsters is a bit confusing in terms of story. You begin on a hub island with portals to other islands. As soon as you hit your first few islands, you get a grasp on what is in store for you. Some pesky aliens have landed on these islands and are up to no good. Your task is not only to escape but to complete objectives for each island. The main objectives include saving humans and collecting gyms. But sometimes, you will be thrown an objective like turning on a generator and things like that.
One of the best aspects about Mugsters is it isn’t linear, so you can finish your objectives in any order. You can also retry islands and get all objectives before moving on, and completing all objectives unlocks time trials. I love this aspect because it allowed me to try different methods to save humans, collect gems, and accomplish other objectives. Sure, you can just escape the islands, but where is the fun in that?
Your move set is pretty basic. You can run, punch, jump, and throw rocks and barrels. The barrels are explosive and perfect for blowing up walls or taking out enemies. You have the freedom to blow up the containment cells holding the humans, but the blast may do more harm than good. You will also have access to plenty of vehicles. You will use these to mow down enemies, hit switches, or use them to fly off jumps. And the best part of all? The controls are nice and crisp, allowing you to focus on the objectives and not worry about faulty controls.
Most of the hilarity comes from the physics-based environments. Many times, you will encounter some unpredictable consequences to your actions. I would frequently cause too many chain reactions when using the barrels. I would blow up a wall, but the ensuing blast would take out another human, or blow up a car that I needed. The physics were never frustrating because they allow for fun ways to clear areas or solve puzzles. Chain reactions can clear out multiple enemies or create escape routes that weren’t there before. Finding multiple ways to solve puzzles ups the replay value of Mugsters in a huge way.
The game is very colorful. The design is a bit geometric and looks pretty unique. I wish there were a little more detail in the design of Mugsters. For example, your character is a bit of a blank canvas at the start of the game. Luckily, you have some characterization options when you enter your home on your hub island. But even the basic aliens look a little like slender red blobs. Again, it is pretty unique and works.
Mugsters is a simple, yet well-designed puzzler. The physics-based environments create some chaotic, but hilarious moments as you work to save humankind. Even though it is simple, the mechanics and execution are well done and Mugsters controls very well. There are plenty of islands to tide you over, but I hope we see some future updates with different types of environments, vehicles, and objectives. But for right now, I feel it is worth the $14.99 price tag.
Mugsters is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Note: GameOctane editor Ryan Welch received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!