In Mugsters the world has been taken over by Aliens, and it is down to you to save it, visiting various islands to save the captured humans and escape. In all there’s a total of twenty five levels, each one has the same goal, work out how to save everyone and get to the escape vehicle with them all intact. That’s one of the good things about Mugsters, the levels are essentially individual sandbox worlds that leave you to work out your own way of doing things.
You’re not told anything upon first starting the game, setting the tone for the entire game, no tutorials, nothing. You’re first thrown on to the home island, here you have the chance to play around with the controls and check out the games physics and vehicles. there’s a few sections to the island too, with the starting bit being your home that features a vending machine for explosive barrels, and a car. To the left of this is a strange looking roller coaster setup, this is where rescued humans will go and once one train is full, you can send it off through a portal and recieve access to extra vehicles for your trouble. These vehicles are located in the north of the island, next to which there’s a track you can take them around and set lap records. Finally to the right of the home, there’s a portal setup from which you access each of the games islands, which unlock as you progress through them.
The first islands are relatively simple, with one or two obstacles to overcome, and as you would expect, get progressively more complex as you progress through the game. As mentioned already, the main objective is to rescue other humans that are imprisoned in glass tubes located across the island, usually 3-4 of them, you do also have two other objectives to consider too, these being collect crystals, just like the humans these are scattered around the islands and will have a green hue to them, picking these up is important, as collecting them all from islands 1-24 will grant access to the 25th.. The next objective varies, but will usually consist of shutting down machines either by pressing buttons, throwing explosive barrels or positinong lasers to turn some machines on.
if you do all three objectives in a level you then unlock the speed run mode for that level. This is activated by accessing the level again, and activating the newly spawned giant clock to start. If you do miss out on completing one of the objectives, fear not, as you can re enter the level with previously completed objectives still intact thus letting you concentrate on what you need to do for whatever you’re missing. It’s not all that easy though once the game introduces enemies, from simple humanoid enemies that can be punched to death, to droids and UFOs that can quickly catch you to giant droids that cause mayhem. dealing with all of these I found was best done straight away, as if you have a human survivor in tow, these can be killed easily, and crystals are dropped if you take damage.
physics play a big part in Mugsters be it launching cars up ramps to access buttons to open doors, or simply using explosive barrels to blast your way through, it works well, coupled with the mystery behind the game there’s enough intrigue and variety in level design to keep you wanting to get through it. You can also play through the game in couch co-op if you fancy having a buddy or family member to help you save the world. Visually the game is simplistic, it works well as an art style and suits the mysterious story of the game, as for the audio, well what there is of it, there’s a droning two tone track playing throughout, which I found quite annoying after a few minutes, and is only broken up with the sounds of explosions and vehicles when used.