Game Reviews

Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode 1

Star onStar onStar onStar onStar off
Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode 1

Fester Mudd is one hell of a phoney - a game so committed to emulating antique point-and-click adventures that even an expert in the field might mistake it for some forgotten relic from 1994.

It's got chunky pixel-art graphics on hand-drawn backdrops. It has synth-heavy MIDI music, and no voice-acting. There's a hefty great interface that takes up half the screen, with verbs like 'Look' and 'Give' on it.

Even the set-up is familiar. Hapless hero Mudd is about as suited to the life of a Wild West cowboy as Monkey Island's Guybrush Threepwood is cut out for the life of a buccaneer.

Walk to iPad

As such, he rides a clapped-out donkey instead of a horse, can't use a gun, and must complete his mission - tracking down his brother, who has struck gold in the desert - with brains rather than brawn.

So this kicks off a procession of conundrums where you must talk to characters, pick up items, combine the junk in your inventory, and solve a series of clever puzzles.

And this is the one area that Mudd happily strays away from its roots. You won't find any obtuse puzzles that defined '90s adventures and kept the LucasArts hint line in operation.

Use credit card on iPad

No - every solution has real-world logic behind it, Mudd and the other characters will subtly nudge you in the right direction, and you can always clearly see the logical steps that must be taken before you reach your goal.

For example, in one part you need to wake up your donkey. You'll think "there's a 'Boost-a-Mule' tonic in the drug store, and the store accepts gold as payment. Now where did I see some gold?" And so on.

It's a double-edged sword, of course. It means you probably won't get stuck, and will sail through the game at quite a comfortable pace - solving a new puzzle every few minutes. But that also means you'll finish the game quite soon.

Use iPad

This is a genuinely funny game, and there are a handful of truly laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the jokes are borrowed from other games, of course, but it's mostly original and refuses to make hundreds of hat-tipping gags that only SCUMM aficionados would get.

Fester Mudd is a breezy little slice of point-and-click fun. The retro aesthetic will please Monkey Island fans, but great writing and clever, logical puzzles mean that anyone can enjoy this game.

Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode 1

Fester Mudd is a funny game with smartly designed puzzles. You don't have to be a point-and-click nostalgist to love this game. Bring on episode 2
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown is editor at large of Pocket Gamer