Developer: Pirita Studio
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Genre(s): Point & Click, Puzzle, Sci-fi, Adventure
Release Date: 18/02/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Archaeology is the Search for Fact… Not Truth
Across the years in gaming, we’ve seen plenty of reimaginings of the future, quite often a post-apocalyptic Earth. It isn’t exactly a new concept. However, Mutropolis takes this trope and makes it its own! This time, we are transported to the year 5000, where Earth had been abandoned in favour of a move to Mars. But, clues leading to a lost city bring an archaeology team back to their ancestral home.
However, it is not as simple as it seems. With an ancient threat looming overhead, and the kidnapping of team member Totel, the journey is fraught with danger. This point & click adventure is by no means doom and gloom, as Mutropolis is littered with witty comedy.
You Call This Archaeology?
The main character you play as is Henry Dijon, a nerdy archaeologist turned detective in the search for Totel. Originally scouring the abandoned Earth for ancient relics and discoveries (in the year 5000, The Rock is but a myth), hints of a mysterious city and the kidnapping of Totel take our misfit team across the sectors of space.
The contrast of all things sci-fi and innovative technology alongside Henry armed with his trusty trowel, an antique in this timezone, with the inclusion of Egyptian Gods from centuries before, worked really well for the story and the humour. Riding in spaceships and using new technology as part of the gameplay kept the story fresh. Then, a lot of items or figures that are common knowledge for us would be an ancient mystery in the world of Mutropolis! For example, Wonder Woman is deemed a non-fictional hero featured in their book of historical figures!
Moving between different areas too, from the futuristic university to the ruins of Earth, helped progress the story in a linear way. It was split into chapters between each place, which was useful if you’re someone who can only play in chunks. Each place helps to unravel the story through your discoveries and solving of puzzles, and there are a fair few twists that I won’t spoil. Overall, though some parts of the story can be predictable, there’s enough plot twists, humour and wit to make a really solid story.
It Belongs In A Museum!
Point and clicks have been around since the days of CD-ROMs and are still a fairly popular genre. So, it can be quite difficult to make one that stands out in the market. Though the concept of point and clicks are pretty much the same in each game, interacting with objects in the setting and combining items in your inventory is done so cleverly in Mutropolis.
The game really will test you on scouring every area for clues and items, and remembering everything you’ve come across which could come in handy later on. For example, in one part, you had to open a mummy’s mouth without breaking its jaw. You could interact with each part of its body, and I realised there was a certain order you had to do it in. It turned out the solution was in a book in another room you had explored previously!
Each chapter or location had various rooms or areas, which did alleviate some repetitiveness instead of being stuck in just one room. There was a lot of walking back and forth between areas, though luckily they all felt different enough that it remained interesting. I did find it a little too challenging for me, and I had to look up some hints in order to progress. Some answers I was hitting myself over, but then others I felt I would never have figured out! It is perfect for those looking for a more difficult point and click, and be aware that you really have to interact with everything around you and combine any objects to find solutions.
We Do Not Follow Maps To Buried Treasure…
Though Mutropolis does feature a lot of back and forth, the hand-drawn scenes and characters are greatly impressive. I loved seeing all the hidden details in each room, and it was evident a lot of hard work had gone into it; a standout feature against other point and clicks available. The colours though bright and varied were soft and easy on the eye due to the pencil-like strokes. The shadows and lighting were fantastic too, and the foreground and background created an almost 3D effect. One section where you had to play as Max the robot even featured a pixel art style, which was a refreshing change of scene fitting with the situation.
The characters themselves were unique and brought to life by fantastic voice acting. Though they were animated in a way that some character’s mouths didn’t move, the voices were so convincing I often forgot this was the case! To me, this stood out more than the soundtrack behind the game, which was varied and fitting to each place, for example, Egyptian-like. It did the job and melded nicely into the whole experience, but wasn’t particularly memorable.
…And X Never, Ever Marks The Spot
Mutropolis took me around 10 hours to complete, which was a solid amount of time for its price point. It was time well spent too! Once you’ve uncovered the story and puzzles though, the only incentive to bring you back is the achievements. Many of the Steam achievements will be gained naturally through playing the game. But, a couple you will need a guide for. They can only be done at certain points in the game, so you either have to go back to a previous save or start a new game. You may be lucky enough to do it without a walkthrough. However, they are not a compulsory part of the story or gameplay so are easily missed.
Obtainer of Rare Antiquities
Overall, Mutropolis stands out to me as one of the best in the market for point and click games. It has a compelling story, a likeable cast of characters and offers a great, inventive challenge. Though it had me wracking my brain a little too much, I believe there are plenty out there who will gladly accept this challenge! It was also gloriously witty throughout and had me laughing out loud.
The fact that it’s a debut game from Pirita Studios, which are made up of just two people, is extremely impressive. The beautiful hand-drawn artwork makes it even more so! I’m excited to see if we’ll see Henry Dijon return and where Pirita Studios will go next. Mutropolis is a brilliant start for an indie developer and a must-play for fans of point and clicks!
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.