Day 447: Mute Crimson

Posted: 2012/01/31 in Indie Games

Remember my “Null Divide” review way back on Day 370? I mentioned off-handedly that it was by Apoxxle, the same developer behind “Mute Crimson”, and that I’d review Mute Crimson some day. That day is today.

Despite the graphical aesthetic, this game is not as hard as Super Meat Boy, nor is it as challenging as “Ninja360°”. Instead, it harkens back to a day when platformers were about great controls, creative level design, and constantly surprising the player rather than constantly putting the player through a super-hard meatgrinder. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for that, but not all players want that (or want that all the time), and Mute Crimson is refreshing in that context.

Think classic 2D Ninja Gaiden (again, before it went 3D and crazy hard). You’re scaling walls, fighting enemies, exploring levels… all the stuff we grew up on. The graphics are mostly white-on-black with lots of appropriately red destruction to wreak, with the occasional (presumably night-themed) level which is white on black. The game does a good job of pairing the tight controls with a steady stream of new enemies and other wrinkles to consider as you progress, and easily earns its 80 Microsoft Points. This game shows that simplistic looking games can also look very polished, shows that a game can be challenging without being ridiculously hard, and great value for a dollar.

Here’s what the developer (Apoxxle) has to say about the game:

“PLATFORMING NINJA ACTION ** Many levels of platforming action! ** Climb walls and slash enemies! ** Get collectibles and go for fast times!”

  1. I played Mute Crimson after you mentioned it in the Null Divide review, and I agree: though the aesthetic is simple it works quite well, and the game plays smoothly. I found it fun, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. I chalk that up to good design.

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