Developer: Die Gute Fabrik
Publisher: Akupara Games
Genre: Music, Rhythm, Adventure, Family
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 19/09/2019
Price: £14.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
For a game all about mutants, Mutazione might be one of the most human Indies I’ve played.
Mutazione places you in the running shoes of Kai, a girl who is tasked with sailing out to an island and looking after her ailing grandfather. Her grandfather is the shaman of an island full of mutated villagers, and he hopes to bond with his granddaughter and pass on some of his knowledge. Although the mutated villagers may seem like it’d be the focus of the story, the fact that they’re mutated is secondary to their actual personalities which is a refreshing take.
It’ll be pretty clear from the get-go that the presentation is a strong point of Mutazione. The art-style may not be complex, but it’s unique and can be quite beautiful at times. Get your screenshot button ready. Although some may be put off by the lack of spoken dialogue, the game’s soundtrack will be enough to guide you through. It’s very peaceful and matches perfectly with the visuals and overall vibe of Mutazione.
Even with great presentation value, it’s the characters that are going to keep you playing Mutazione. They are insanely well written and enjoyable to interact with, and it never feels like they only exist when Kai is around. You can tell all of the characters have their own relationship with one another, and it becomes pretty addicting checking in on them each day to see what’s new.
Mutazione’s writing surprised me on more than one occasion. One cool moment came when Kai insincerely gave another character a nickname, leading to them being open about how they use nicknames to try and form relationships with people more easily. It felt like the game had seen right through me. Another cool moment came when Kai was questioned about her love life, and she matter-of-factly talked about a girl she had a crush on back home. Once again, it felt like this was a world I was merely looking into, rather than one that had been created for me.
Once you arrive on the island, you’ll be tasked with learning how to create and tend gardens, which is the game’s primary gameplay mechanic besides talking to the other inhabitants of the island. It’s not very complicated, but it serves as a way of driving the plot forward and giving the player more to do than walk and press a few buttons.
There are a lot of quality of life changes that would make Mutazione more enjoyable to play, although it’s hard to fault the game since it’s not always clear whether that’s by design. Since you’ll be spending most of your time running between areas to talk to people, it would be nice to have a way of getting around faster, but since the game is all about taking it slow, it seems like a purposeful choice to have you explore every time.
Mutazione offers a compelling story, full of interesting, likeable and incredibly real-feeling characters. Its central gameplay hook may not have grabbed me as its characters did, but it’s still a fantastic Indie that’s well worth a try.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Mutazione from the PlayStation Store on the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP3245-CUSA14175_00-0000DGFMUTAZIONE
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.