“It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist went and dug it all up.” – Karl Pilkington
Mutropolis is a new point-and-click adventure game by two-person team, Pirata Games. Set in the year 5000, the apocalypse has been and gone, Mars has been colonised and Earth is a wild, inhospitable place of history and intrigue! Players take on the role of archaeologist Henry Dijon, returning to humanity’s home planet to discover lost treasures only to get caught up in a detective-style search for his kidnapped professor!
Developer: Pirita Games
Released: 08th February 2021
Mutropolis plays like most classic point-and-click adventures, the player must explore a bunch of different environments, building and utilising an inventory and conversing with people in order to solve puzzles pertaining to a mostly linear storyline. There are a good number of scenes to traverse in each section of the game, but the nature of the puzzles often means a lot of back-and-forth making the overall environment feel a little stale after a while.
Whilst the game is pegged as casual, a significant amount of instruction and even puzzle clues are delivered via dialogue and subtleties that require a certain amount of attention to detail, memory, focus and the occasional bit of note-taking! Missing small details is easy enough and can result in a lot of fruitless searching or stumbling upon solutions that are then perceived as random or even nonsensical. An in-game journal to reference could help alleviate some of the frustration caused by this and would be a welcome addition. Having said that, players will also find puzzle game staples like constellations, symbols, passcodes and changing seasons to discover items!
On the surface, Mutropolis has a simple overarching storyline about searching for a missing person believed to have been kidnapped and taken to the secret and legendary city of Mutropolis, but it draws on a range of genres and inspirations demonstrating some truly unique narrative design. Set in the future, predominantly on Mars the game comfortably fits into the sci-fi genre but also heavily features ancient Egyptian history and gods and the post-apocalyptic state of Earth creating a bizarre but highly intriguing overall experience.
Mutropolis boasts some brilliant writing, from the effective characterisation, to the original narrative to the funny pop culture references and jokes, it is definitely a highlight of the game.
Mutropolis has a charming, hand-drawn cartoon aesthetic with a painterly style and soft lines, reminiscent of games such as Broken Age and Old Man’s Journey but distinctive in its eclectic settings and environments, and vibrant colour palettes. The atmospheric use of lighting and fun little details work to really bring each scene to life. The soundtrack is similarly varied with some subtly jazzy numbers alluding to the detective noir genre, more upbeat tropical sounding tunes and futuristic background music that all helps to create a scene and build its atmosphere. That being said, the music was often quite subtle and could have been more prominent in places for increased impact.
There is a nice range of sound effects, such as water dripping and wind blowing through tunnels in an underground station, these are implemented well and help create convincing environments. With the exception of a few stiff lines from Henry the voice acting is also very believable, with distinct voices and personalities providing players with good sense of the individual characters.
Overall, Mutropolis is great fun, it sticks to tried and tested point-and-click mechanics and some familiar puzzle tropes but offers an unusual narrative and a cute, vibrant aesthetic that sets the title apart. It provides a well-rounded gaming experience that will take around 10-15 hours depending on playstyle making it good value entertainment as well!
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