Mudlarks: Quirky but polished

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Hello again everyone,

Instead of doing what I SHOULD be doing which is revising for my music exam on Friday (luckily I was in for a revision session today and I’m a lot more confident now, shout out to my teacher Mr. Stanley for taking time out to help us revise), I’ve been playing through a few games since now I have a bit more time. One of them has been the free indie game ‘Mudlarks’ by a company called ‘Cloak and Dagger games’, I believe it’s their first game. On first sight it’s a very simply point and click adventure game set in East London, however as you delve into the game you find that the developers had much more than meets the eye. All in all the game is rather quirky, but very well executed, a few issues nonetheless but very well done.

Because I haven’t finished the game, I’m holding back from putting in a lot of spoilers or to give a full review (there are a few really nice moments I would like to share when I’m properly finished though) but here are a few initial thoughts. The art style is rather intriguing in my opinion. Instead of conforming to the throwback pixel style that’s been dominating flash and indie games during recent years, Mudlarks ops for what I can only describe as an animated collage meaning that the art of the entire game is based around photographs cut out and ‘stuck’ onto the screen. This actually makes the game surreal in a lot of ways, for example because no photo is exactly the same, when a person speaks the entire head moves along with it (this is slightly hard to explain and I feel stupid trying to describe it, I’ll have some videos and links at the end of the article for anyone interested). As surrealist as it is though, using real photography also draws the player into the heart of London itself – you watch the river Thames surge, you can see the library, you can see the stores but at the same time it’s obvious you’re in a cutout world. This surrealist feeling fits great into the plot during which completely unrelated events link into one another, and by completely unrelated I mean COMPLETELY unrelated, just as unrelated as I am to an indigenous Brazilian singer (although, the plot doesn’t quite throw you around as much as one of my all time favorite games, Anachronox, which gets so weird you control an entire 6ft tall planet in a combat based RPG).

The plot itself I think has great development, however I find that it starts a little slow and to get hang of solving the puzzles takes time (I personally had to use a walk through for a good 1/4 of the game). But having said that, I’m not finished 🙂
Yes, I’ve kept back on a lot I realize. I know, I haven’t even said the character’s name. We’ll leave that for another time.
Thanks for reading and of course leave a comment on anything you find interesting,
Tmx

More to come on Mudlarks later on
Here’s are some links to more information if anyone’s interested
Walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFPQo08GVMY
Review from Jayisgames: http://jayisgames.com/archives/2014/04/mudlarks.php
Official download site: http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/mudlarks/24964/

Picture from: http://i.gjcdn.net/imgserver/game-header/950/24964_2.jpg

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