Mutropolis is a lovely point & click adventure that stands out through its top-notch graphics, voice acting and humour. It’s a fantastic love letter to the old-school titles of this genre, while keeping things fresh through a unique, modern and gripping story.
After a cataclysm that happened 3000 years ago, humanity fled to Mars. Now, in year 5000, a team of archeologists and scientists came back to Earth to find the legendary Mutropolis – a lost city believed to be a source of many treasures, similar to El Dorado or what was once believed to be the Atlantis continent. You play as Henry Dijon – the head of expeditions for team Sigma – a nerdy archeologist with a detective nose. When the team’s boss disappears, and when the police abruptly closes the case, Henry and his colleagues take upon themselves to find their missing boss and the lost city. Together with the quirky and charismatic characters that comprise Henry’s ragtag team, you’re in for an adventure in which new meets old, and where ancient Egyptian myths are brought to life. Literally.
A lot of point and click games suffer from the “What do I do next? / Where do I go next?” syndrome and sadly Mutropolis didn’t manage to solve these issues either. The game does not hold your hand, and the dialogues with the NPCs or the text prompts when investigating an object rarely push you in the right direction. There are very few hints for what your next actions should be, and the clues for solving the puzzles are pretty well hidden. Playing Mutropolis is like having to build a 1000-pieces jigsaw puzzle: you can partially combine some of the pieces that seem to fit together but you won’t have an overview of what’s going on until the end of each chapter (which takes a few hours of gameplay). There are too many locations simultaneously open for exploration, too many items in your inventory that don’t have an immediate purpose. Brute forcing your way is also not the right approach, since the possibilities are too many.
In that regard, Mutropolis is aimed towards more experienced players of the genre, ones that are nostalgic of old point and click games that made you work hard for your next step. Perhaps this approach is less fitting for the new generation of gamers, which are rather impatient and for which walkthroughs are only a one click away. This doesn’t mean that Mutropolis is a bad game – it’s actually very far from that. It’s a great game, but a difficult one and if you want to play it without external help, you will need to arm yourself with a lot of patience and time. Also expect some mind-boggling solutions for some of the puzzles.
The dialogues are very fun and witty, and like in any other point & click game you’ll have some dialogue options that give you game progress, while others are present only for the purpose of character development or shaping their personality. These two types are extremely well balanced; unlike in some other games, where you can get lost in a ton of useless information, in Mutropolis they’re straight to the point while also giving you enough details about the character’s background to make them likable and friendly. You’ll end up wanting to talk to them not because the options are there for you to pick, but because you will genuinely want to get to know them better, to get to hear what hilarious things they come up with or listen to them banter at each other – so do yourself a favor and talk to everyone as much as possible. On top of that, all the lines are voiced and the voice overs are stellar, full of charm and emotion.
Mutropolis is, in my opinion, well worth its asking price of $20 for fans of this genre (but not only), and it’s aimed in particular at those that enjoy a challenge or are nostalgic of old-school point & click adventures. You’ll get 10-15h of an exciting narrative with a sci-fi / mystery thematic, exquisite voice-overs and graphics in what is ultimately a great game.