Mutant Football League
Keeping with the theme of arcade-style sports games I loved in my youth and owned on Nintendo 64 (quite specific traits to build a theme on, huh?), NFL Blitz was another series I played relentlessly. I’ve personally always preferred the quick, over-the-top style of arcade games as opposed to the more simulated playstyle of titles such as Madden. Mutant Football League is a spiritual successor to the NFL Blitz series and the Sega Genesis title Mutant League Football, with fast-paced gameplay and copious amounts of zombie-fied/mutant-esque violence! If you’ve longed for a return to form for arcade-style football, look no further: Mutant Football League is the game for you.
While NFL Blitz allowed you to perform over-the-top late hits and some cartoony tackles, you were still controlling real people, so the animation needed to be subdued slightly. In Mutant Football League, all playable characters are (predictably) mutants with HP bars, so this restriction is lifted. Additionally, as your mutant players have HP bars, there’s a fair chance they may be brutally put out of commission (aka, killed) instead of enduring a traditional sports injury. As your players are killed off, the reserves are called in…however if you end up losing a Quarterback or another position which isn’t easily backfilled, it could lead to an interesting/rough game. Fortunately, this didn’t happen during my hands on time with the title when I got to play it wayyyyyyy back at PAX West 2017. Eventually, I’ll have to purchase the full title on Steam so I can explore the ramifications of these specific situation.
The gameplay is immediately recognizable to anyone who spent any hands on time with the Blitz series-you pick an offensive or defensive play, your players line up on the line of scrimmage, move fast and hit hard. While there is much more nuance to running a game of football and you’ve a plethora of plays available at your disposal as well as various strategic options, I’d surmise most people have such fond memories of the NFL Blitz series due to the hard hits. Mutant Football League does not disappoint in this regard in the slightest-there are brutal hits where enemy players literally explode into pieces, chainsaws run amok and needless to say, there is a gratuitous amount of animated gore. The action is easy to understand even if you’d hardly consider yourself a football fan, and the controls are so tight and precise you always feel competitive.
Mutant Football League is a title I’d never heard of prior to PAX West 2017, and now it’s a title I can’t wait to purchase. As anyone who’s ever swung by a TruBros Twitch stream knows, I love indie games which are couch co-op compatible, and the sweet, retro-inspired gameplay of Mutant Football League is right up my alley. It’s available RIGHT NOW on Steam, so if you’re looking for something fun to play I suggest you download it ASAP!