Mutropolis Review – Classic Adventure Game Puzzles and Modern Style

Platforms:

Windows PC, Mac, Steam

Game Name:

Mutroplois

Publisher(s):

Application Systems Heidelberg

Developer(s):

Pirita Studio

Genre(s):

Adventure

Release Date:

February 18th, 2021

Mutropolis by Pirita Studio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a point-and-click adventure game not inspired by the early LucasArts classics, a group of games that had plenty of humorous moments as well as head-scratching challenges. Mutropolis follows in these games’ footsteps by aiming to create something familiar but also modernized.

A Return to “Adventure Game Logic”

What makes this game feel like an homage to those older titles is its challenge. Older adventure games required a lot of trial and error, trying a random assortment of everyday items on other items to solve its puzzles or obstacles. There is plenty of this within Mutropolis.

Puzzles don’t always require absurd object combinations for solutions, but there are plenty of moments that require an “outside the box” approach.

The game opts for giving the player a large amount of objects to acquire, which will mostly all be used at one point to get past certain obstacles. It also means you’ll be doing a lot of revisiting areas; talking to everyone and exhausting every dialogue option; and using trial and error with plenty of objects in unorthodox ways.

And with no in-game hint system, the game is clear about not providing a casual experience.

I personally got stuck a number of times but eventually found solutions. I would say that this is one of the more challenging adventure games I’ve played in a while. This isn’t necessarily an issue with the game, but I want to put it out there as a heads-up for those looking for a more casual or narrative-driven experience.

A Story Interrupted by Inventory Puzzles

A lot of recent point-and-click adventure games tend to focus on story, making games that have a certain steady pace to them. Since I spent a lot of my time in Mutropolis fiddling with a plethora of objects to solve puzzles, it kind of brought the game’s pace to a screeching halt, which was a shame for me, personally, because the initial narrative set-up was engaging.

Mutropolis is set in the year 5000, and you play as Henry Dijon, part of an archaeological excavation crew exploring the ruins of Earth. When Totel, the leader of your group, is mysteriously captured, it’s up to you and your team to rescue him. It’s an intriguing world and narrative set-up I was looking forward to exploring further.

After the introduction, though, the game puts you and your crew at a university to start the search for Totel. I felt this part of the game dragged a bit too long, and I wanted to explore more of the game’s setting. It all felt really mundane and didn’t necessarily move the plot forward. It wasn’t all a waste of time, though, because at least I was able to learn more about the world this game is set in.

Via jokes and references, there is some fun misinformation about the past which I thought was all cleverly done. For example, sheriff badges were believed to be shurikens, Wonder Woman was presumed to be an actual person, and Al Capone was thought to be a famous movie actor.

Trash cans talk, welcoming humans to put trash in them. These kinds of things add some enjoyment to the game’s futuristic but purposefully familiar world.

It’s Not Just the Jokes, It’s the Delivery

Mutropolis features a fantastic vocal cast. Henry’s voice actor conveys that determined go-getter attitude. The actor who plays Isis wonderfully nails a charming yet socially awkward earth-dweller. There are plenty of characters brought to life via great acting performances.

What also helps characters come to life is this game’s great writing. The dialogue is clever but doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to be funny. Characters are more defined and less one-note compared to other adventure games of this type. I couldn’t help but become attached to some of them.

Visually, the game opts for a largely minimalistic art style. Characters have that familiar Adventure Time “wiggly arms” look. They are very lanky and mix well with the colorful, brush painting-inspired backgrounds. The art style reminds me a lot of Double Fine’s Broken Age. Overall, it feels familiar but also lovingly crafted with plenty of attention to detail.

Mutropolis is an old-school-inspired point-and-click adventure game sure to please those looking for a challenge. It’s modern but feels so retro at the same time. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel delivers an entertaining adventure.

Mutropolis is available via Steam.

Check out the official trailer for Mutropolis below:

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