Review: Mutazione

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I have trouble writing about games I actually like. My excuse–yes, it is an excuse–is not wanting to spoil the experience by too much thought. Mutazione is one of those games for me, a game where I’m like, “Yeah, that was good.”

Mutazione‘s Steam page describes developers Die Gute Fabrik’s game as:

A mutant soap opera where small-town gossip meets the supernatural. Explore the Mutazione community as Kai as she cares for her ailing grandfather. Discover magical gardens, new friends & old secrets. They can survive an apocalyptic meteor strike, but can they survive their small-town drama?

Mutazione is a chill adventure whose story ruminates on loss, love, and finding a way forward from past tragedy.

I enjoyed running around the island, listening to the subtle wind chimed soundtrack.

I loved seeing Kai’s relationship with her grandfather blossom over time.

Sure there are some soap opera-like elements that I did not like, or at least, I did not feel rang true for me. But beyond those drama bits, the story’s supernatural and mysterious threads propelled me forward–much like Oxenfree did… but this is totally different than Oxenfree–.

Mutazione captures those slow summer days. Days spent with family, friends, and magical gardens? More so days spent:

  • Collecting seeds / gardening
  • Enjoying conversations, with friends, that last late into the night

Mutazione is a game about healing; a game about moving on from the past. Moving forward with new hopes, dreams, and most importantly, new friends.

5/5 – I loved my experience with Mutazione via Apple Arcade.

Title: Mutazione
Developer: Die Gute Fabrik
Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Linux, macOS
Reviewed On: iPad / Apple Arcade
MSRP: $19.99

Review by Bryan Hall

The Concert
Up in the trees.
Mutazione - Boat Trip
Floating
Mutazione - Meteor
Secrets
Mutazione - Saying Goodbye

Review: Hidden Through Time

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Hidden Through Time, developed by Crazy Monkey Studios, is a game about finding things. The levels progress through different periods of time such as:

  • The Stone Age
  • Ancient Egypt
  • The Middle Ages
  • The Wild West

Players hunt down objects, with the help of subtle clues, in order to move forward in history.

The Good

We recently had grandma and grandpa over to visit. While they were over, we decided to play Hidden Through Time together. Sitting around the television, we hunted objects through not just one but eleven levels. Grandma was super good at finding things. Who knew?!? By the time we were done, she said that she really liked the game.

Wyatt also enjoyed using the level editor (see video below). He says:

“Just say that I liked it… that it was good… that it was awesome!”

He notes that the object placement could be better when duplicating the same object. For example: A player goes to place a tree. Hidden Through Time allows you to place one tree and then forces you to go back to the object toolbar to select another tree before placing.

Wyatt and I also liked:

  • The hand-drawn design aesthetic.
  • The levels being in color, unlike Hidden Folks (which we’ve played on iOS).
  • How the controls feel dialed in, making movement around the map and the ability to zoom in and out a breeze.
  • The gibberish language the characters speak when poked.
  • How well Hidden Through Time plays in a group.

The Bad

  • Object hints, at times, do not make sense.
  • Size of objects often makes them harder to find than they should be—I hate eggs!—.
  • Load times between the main menu screen, level selection screen, and individual levels can take a few moments.

The Ugly

  • Hidden Through Time needs an overall hint system for those times when you are super stuck. This is more of a suggestion than a game destroying experience. We, as a family, haven’t gotten stuck in-game yet.

Conclusion

Wyatt and I have enjoyed our time with Hidden Through Time. This is a perfect game to play individually and as a family. The music is relaxing and does not annoy—as a parent, this is important—. We recommend this game to others looking for a digital Where’s Waldo experience.

5/5 – A great game to play as a family or while hidden away in the bathroom. Seriously, just go hide in there, the kids don’t have to know!

Title: Hidden Through Time
Developer: Crazy Monkey Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox One, Windows, and iOS
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
MSRP: $7.99

Review by Bryan and Wyatt Hall

*Hidden Through Time was reviewed using a code provided by EvolvePR.

The Metroid Mindset

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The trees have finally become green once again, Spring has finally arrived.

The weather in East Texas continues to baffle this Southern California native. In January of this year, we experienced tornadoes. February and March brought along colder weather with snow (at least twice). For some, this may not seem too out of the ordinary. For someone used to 70 degree winters though, tornadoes and snow just don’t make a whole lot of sense. The longer I live here – going on 5 years – the more and more I miss the weather of my youth and the proximity to the coast.

The one game to rule them all...

The other night, I dove into Super Metroid on the Wii (Virtual Console) for the first time in awhile. I had bought the game over a year ago — on a whim — and had quickly decided that it was not what I wanted to play at the time. I don’t know about you, but I have to be in a specific mood and mindset to play through a Metroid game. The tension, loneliness, and endless expanse of corridors have to come at a time when I am seeking a little adventure and exploration. Otherwise, I’d much rather play something that is a little less tense.

My first Metroid game was Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance (GBA). Well that is not true, as a kid I played the original Metroid on the NES. I remember at the time thinking the game was slow and boring — still true! –. For some reason I couldn’t wrap my little head around the game. Perhaps the game design not being as straight forward as a Mario game had something to do with it, who knows. Metroid Fusion though marked my entry into the series. Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime followed soon after.

  • Metroid Fusion (GBA) – First Metroid game I ever played and completed.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA) – My second experience with the world of Samus Aran.
  • Metroid Prime (GameCube) – First 3D Metroid game. The game did a great job capturing the feel of the older 2D games. For me though, Metroid is meant to be played in 2D and on a handheld.

For years I have read of how Super Metroid is the pinnacle of the Metroid series. Slowly, I am beginning to see why.

Love, dislike, or hate the Metroid series? Tell me about it below.