Game Reviews

The Mouth of Madness

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The Mouth of Madness

Jardvark Studios's The Mouth of Madness is gross. Really, really gross.

Rather than (necessarily) being a drawback, mind, its repulsive visual design is actually its greatest asset.

I mean, who doesn't want to go on a Ren & Stimpy-esque, bacteria-filled tour around the filthy gob of a man whose hygiene is far from exemplary?


You have to admire the developer's commitment to the gimmick, though: the Fruit Ninja-inspired The Mouth of Madness is certainly a sight to behold.

The artwork is truly revolting. From the title screen's dirty bathroom to the crooked and chipped teeth that form the battleground - superbly drawn but ugly art is the name of the game here.

Your ears aren't safe, either, for the audio landscape is made up of toilet flushes, the buzzing of flies, gurgling throats, and rasping fart noises.

I've never been keen on gross-out media of any kind. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is probably the most disgusting game I've played to date.

Staring into the abyss

As for the gameplay, well, here goes: you must defend the mouth from loads of different enemy types. How? By swiping at the screen to kill them. Clear multiple baddies at once, and you're awarded a combo.

You lose if too many bad guys complete their attack animations. Or if you harm the sweet little kitty that pops up intermittently one too many times.

In The Mouth of Madness, the enemies come in multiple sizes, have multiple methods of attack, take multiple swipes to clear, have weak spots, and so on.

Where this would add complexity in a game with a plain palette, in the visually busy mouth - already cramped for space due to the rows of teeth that line the top and bottom of the screen - it's easy to feel overwhelmed, even on the lowest difficulty. There's basically too much going on here.

The Mouth of Madness is amazing (and disgusting) to behold and has some decent play ideas at its core. Unfortunately, Jardvark Studios rarely manages to gel these two elements effectively into a truly enjoyable whole.

The Mouth of Madness

A sight to see for sure, The Mouth of Madness is unfortunately let down by mechanics thoughtlessly lifted from another game that sit uneasily with its presentation