Review – Mute Crimson

Mute Crimson from Merge the Memory Bit Studios (Null Divide) is a somewhat difficult 2D platformer.

The game has a very simple visual style to it, but the colours are used in a really nice way that makes the game look much better in motion than it does in screenshots. It also means that everything is wonderfully clear.

The clarity is pretty essential, because the game can get complex as you get further and further into it. What starts off as a fairly standard platformer soon introduces lots of unique twists and lots of timing based sections. You’ll go through screen-filling laser fields that offer tiny sections to hide in, just big enough for you. The second world introduces a wind mechanic that will occasionally make forward progress treacherous, if it appears when you’re jumping a gap it could very well spell your end. There are various other hazards along with these, meaning that there’s always something new to contend with.

All this makes the game very difficult, but in the best way. There are numerous checkpoints and deaths are followed by instant restarts so there’s never a break in the action. Instant restarts allow the game to be hard, but mean that it’s never frustrating. The epic boss fights offer instant restarts, too. Despite all the death, the difficulty is spot-on, and every part of the game feels hard, but never impossible, and most importantly: never unfair. The controls can feel slightly unresponsive at times, but this is never something that affects the enjoyment of the game, simply because of the nature of the instant restarts.

Dying will wreck your chances of setting a decent time. The game tracks your time across each individual level and offers awardments for completing the whole game in underneath a certain time. This is great encouragement to play through levels again and get them perfect. As a further reason to replay them, look no further than the hidden item in every level. And by hidden, expect them to be very hidden. Usually they’re in hard to reach places, places fraught with danger, or just somewhere off screen, hidden in a secret passage in a wall, somewhere. Finding them all is not an easy task but it’s very satisfying if you can pull it off.

Mute Crimson looks very simple and it’s easy to write it off based on its visuals. If you do, you’ll miss out on a game with much more depth than you might have been expecting, a game with plenty of replayability, and a game with a perfectly judged difficulty curve.

Mute Crimson is available now for 80 Microsoft Points


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