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Mutazione: An Interesting Adventure Game Published by Akupara Games

Mutazione by Akupara Games

I'm vaguely reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his wacky tales with Mutazione, an interesting adventure game from Akupara Games and developer Die Gute Fabrik. I recently livestreamed it on twitch for a few nights and had some remarks about it. 

 
interesting adventure game

Marquez's largest narrative device was magical realism, and that's what you'll see in a lot of Mutazione. Magical realism is a concept where supernatural events happen in the natural world. A lot of that happens in this game, which tells the story of a girl (Kai) that visits a strange island in response to a sick relative's request. That's about as realistic as the game is because once Kai arrives on the island, she's greeted by friendly mutants, humanoid beings, and plants that do a lot more than just decorate the island.
mutazione


The backstory is that a giant meteor hit the island and affected the lives of everyone, changing humans into mutants over the course of many years. Most of the humanoid beings carry out their lives as humans, running bars, salons, restaurants, libraries—what you'd come to expect from a small village. Other mutants, while sociable, keep to themselves in their own separate communities. Odd blobs of gelatinous material, quirky orbs, and business-minded squigglies walk among the mutants. It's almost aSesame Street version of a village.

The charm of the game is in discovering who these characters are and the secrets they hold. Every character in Mutazione has their own story to tell—stories that remind us of our humanity and how it's okay to be imperfect since none of us are perfect. Each of them is revealed with such perfect timing that to explain more would be spoiling the story, so it's best that I leave the details out so you can find them on your own.

But there's much more to this interesting adventure game. There's a dark presence on the island, one that nags at Kai nearly every night. It visits her in dreams and speaks often in riddles that guide her to unlocking a grandiose riddle of the entire island. Sometimes it manifests as a large bug, other times a ghastly being that speaks to her in the middle of the night. I personally haven't discovered the truth of what it is, but I can't wait to unravel the truth.
interesting adventure game

An Interesting Aventure Game—Mixed with Gardening

The action of this game is definitely unconventional—instead of navigating complex puzzles or facing off against hordes of enemies, you perform a much more creative action. Gardening

Mutazione features a very lush world of fauna and flora. Odd plants—some tree-like, others bush-like, some downright strange—dot the landscape. Kai wanders throughout the game, picking up seeds from each of these plants to keep for gardening later. This isn't what you'd come to expect from Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. Instead of gardening for harvest, you garden for music

interesting adventure game

Each garden has its own "intent" of sound and progresses the game forward, altering the lives of people as the gardens grow in interesting ways. There's a lot more to unearth (pun intended) in this interesting adventure game if you invest the time into it.

Sometimes the "way forward" isn't always clear, however. Kai keeps a notebook of her tasks and who she's supposed to meet next, but sometimes it takes a little exploring to find who is wherein the game's world. It's not too much of a negative point, but instead of wandering the island at a slow pace, a map would have served the game well, pointing out the homes and businesses of the muta-residents.

interesting adventure game


That aside, the combination of colorful, 2-D art, gardening, interesting audio mechanics, a cast of highly interesting humanoid characters, light touches of humor, and a dark mystery to unlock, there's a lot here to unwrap. Recognize that the game moves slowly. You won't see a lot of unbounded action in Mutazione, but what you will see is touching moments that serve to craft a narrative between a girl, her grandfather, and the lives of a particular village of humanoid people that are more human than not.

Streaming Mutazione

Streaming this adventure game most likely draws a fan-based audience since it's easy to get lost in the narrative of the game. Plus, the game has more quiet, character-based moments than it does action-based. Since it often hinges on knowing who the characters are, what they do, and how they interact with each other, it's probably best to play it offline.

If you'd like to check out my stream some time, I'm live on Twitch weekdays 6 PM PST (except Wednesdays) and 11 AM PST weekends. Thanks!

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