This title was reviewed on PC, but is also available on Nintendo Switch.
Right off the bat, seeing this menu and hearing the soundtrack, I knew I was going to love this game. Watching these octopus-doodles’ smooth animations and the way they danced gave me the urge to groove with them –my head is still bopping. Published by PQube Limited and created by Slampunks’ duo developers, Muddledash passionately merged two of things that I enjoy a lot: Doodle drawings and party games. The result? Cute dose of fun.
Muddledash is a local coop racing game that can be played with up to 3 friends/people/enemies. 4 keyboards, 4 controllers or a mixture of both, the controls are simple and playable using either. Setting up the controls for each player is easy and quick in the options menu, although I wish the changes could be saved, as they reset when you turn off the game. Moving left/right, jumping, kicking, and dashing –a boost that propels you forward- are all you need to dive into it. Starting a new game, you find yourself in this lobby area where you and your friends could tentacle slap two boxes to change your appearance and/or hat. Once ready, all players must enter a green box to initiate the 3 seconds countdown to launch the session.
The match starts with all contenders placed in a small room. When all players move, a box appears at the center of it. The goal is grab the gift, make your way through a twisting and turning map to reach your destination: a fluffy cute party. There are 10 levels –as far as I could tell- that the game recycles, and it keeps doing so until everyone decides they had enough. Despite the temperate expectation for a party game, some features are still recommended to offer a more flexible experience. Features like showing scores, to keep track on who has the lead. Also not being able to choose/vote for a map of your choosing can feel restrictive, and that is never a fun element. Still, the maps are varied enough and well made.
The gameplay gives a heavy Speedrunners vibe, and this could be a huge plus for players of that game –including myself. Firstly, it’s a sidescroller game. The screen will keep the gift at its center, meaning outrunning your opponents can put them at a disadvantage. This adds to the chaotic funny madness as you frantically struggle between holding the gift and getting it back. Secondly, it has different elements littering the map, either to help you or most likely to hinder you. Jelly goo for example can boost your speed, while bushes slow you to a crawl. While it lacks any weapons, there are two ways to hinder your opponents: kicking them or touching a plant that shoots slime in a straight line. If hit by it, the player is placed in goo bubble that prevents movement for a second or two before regaining control. There also bouncy mushrooms that can be use to perform high jumps.
If you need a funny little game with extremely adorable art style to add to your “party games” collection, I highly recommend picking this one up. It’s simple, relaxing and good fun in short bursts. There isn’t anything bad about it; just a few details like keeping scores or adjusting dashing would make it more convenient. So I’m rating this game high because it gets most of everything right when it comes to this genre. It’s fast-paced, competitive but most importantly fun.