Wednesday , 24 April 2024
Meta Quest GamesReviews

Max Mustard Review

One genre that really resonates with me in VR is third-person platformers, and Max Mustard is the latest to step into the arena. With some big-hitters in this genre, have Toast Interactive (creators of Richie’s Plank Experience), manged to match them with Max Mustard?

Release Date: March 21st 2024
Developer: Toast Interactive
Publisher: Toast Interactive
Price: US $29.99
Reviewed On: Meta Quest 3
* Code Provided For Review *

SAVE THE MUDPUPS

The planet Krunch is dying and inventor Max Mustard witnesses small creatures being captured by a businessman name Stubbins and his mechanical workforce. He is then selling these as an elitist vanity product to the wealthy. But, can you and Max Mustard work together to save as many of these creatures as you can?

ITS ABOUT TEAM WORK

Max Mustard will see you teaming up to work together in a mix of first-person and third-person platforming. With the first-person seeing you provided a number of gadgets to help get Max though some platforming sections and assist in taking down the games four bosses. Which will provide you with gadgets like a plunger gun for combat and a wind gun to help move platforms.

Mixing this with controlling Max for all the platforming elements, which will see you make your way through forty levels over all. With the level design and some of the platforming mechanics really being what stood out the most about the game for me. Be it the elements of working together included or some of he designs like platforms disappearing and re-appearing to the beat of the music, there are so many really cool and unique moments and mechanics in the level design in every ark you visit along the way.

While playing the levels you will find extras in the form of the Mudpups you are looking to save, a timed event to collect the letters spelling Max Mustard, coins and other collectibles. However, these aren’t overly hard to find which falls in line with the more child-friendly approach to the games design. Which for me is a bit of shame, as having some being more difficult to locate would have improved this element a lot more. But, I do understand why they have taken this approach with the Mudpups, as you do need to have so many of these saved at set points to progress – so, this might have become a frustration for the younger audience it seems to be aimed at.

The coins you collect are also used to buy upgrades from Max at shops located throughout each Ark you visit on the way. There is eight upgrades to unlock in total, some of which seem to make a difference and unfortunately some that don’t seem to make that much of change or benefit.

At the end of each Ark you will take on a Boss fight, and these are all well designed, to mix in the platforming and gadgets. The scale of the bosses compared to Max are massive, but don’t feel like they tower over you, like some others in the genre have used to great effect previously. Although they are still a lot of fun to take on, as with the extras these are not overly difficult for an adult to take out and complete on your first attmept.

As aforementioned there are some big-hitters in this genre and where I don’t like to make comparisons, it is hard in this case. Does the gameplay of Max Mustard live up to the likes of Moss, ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission and Lucky’s Tale? Outside of the some of the new mechanics in the level design, it doesn’t in most cases – with it feeling more on par with Lucky’s Tale which although a classic is aging now.

BRIGHT, BOLD AND WHAT YOU WANT

One thing that instantly struck me was how nice the game looked on the Meta Quest 3, with the bright and bold design that suits platformers of this kind popping inside of the headset. Everything from Max, the levels elements, the mix of enemies and the bosses all looking very nice with solid textures and a great resolution. Toast Interactive definitely took everything you would want to see in regards to the visual aspect of a platformer and made sure Max Mustard ticked all the boxes.

They have then taken the same approach with the audio, but included no spoken audio, after completing some of the levels you will be provided with notes to read – but these are not read out. Each level is provided with music and environmental audio that would suit each location and situation. Finished off with the noises of Max’s jet-boots, the Mudpups, collecting coins and the noises of the enemies, making sure the audio falls in perfectly with the visual approach, and what you want from a platform game.

COMFORT

78%
THE VERDICT
Summary

The team at Toast Interactive have made a very solid VR platformer with Max Mustard, with some very unique mechanics and level design to make it feel new. There is a good mix of platforming and first-person, meaning you do feel like a team on your mission to save the Mudpups, as you traverse through the forty levels and four boss fights. However, it is a ll a little easy, which makes it perfect for a younger audience, but it might become a little stale for the older VR users.

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