I have incredibly fond memories of playing Conker’s Bad Fur Day at a friends house growing up. It was at a friends house because (unsurprisingly if you know the basic premise of Conkers) the kind of humor it represented would NOT have flown with my parents. To this day, the Great and Mighty Poo Song gets me laughing and fills me with nostalgia.
I tell you all this because it’s one of the chief reasons Mongrel caught my attention. Billed as being “inspired by Conker’s Bad Fur Day, The Legend of Zelda and Metroidvania-style games”, this indie platformer is currently on Kickstarter and has an incredible amount of character.
Mongrel is an action-platformer with metroidvania elements coming for Windows and hopefully Switch! The game is inspired by Conker’s Bad Fur Day, The Legend of Zelda and Metroidvania-style games.
Finch is a half human, half frog – a mongrel! This gives him mysterious powers. As quick as a hawk and strong as a bear Finch faces danger without fear! Evil has conquered the world, it’s up to Finch to restore Yonder to it’s former glory! Fergooson the evil mastermind has escaped the underworld to seek his revenge! Do you think you have what it takes to beat him?
The game controls of Mongrel are super tight and while they took me a little getting used to (aka getting over my sucking at this genre of games), they felt responsive and easy to understand. Mongrel is a surprisingly unforgiving game, and feels very old school in this respect. Fall in the “acid” water and you’re dead; start over buddy. There are a few check points, but the demo isn’t pulling any punches.
As an aside, you don’t have to take my word for it: the Mongrel Kickstarter Demo is available on GameJolt.
A lot of the controls are based on movement. You’re able to dash, roll, and swing using your tongue and froggy-ness, as well as fire off bullets at lightning speed (you do have ammo, though I never found this to be a problem in the demo). Everything works very well together and there’s enough meat for me to think that later levels could get quite challenging and really test your skills.
Mongrel also looks great. Concept artist Domen Kozelj, who is the person behind the design of Finch, is to be congratulated, because his sprite and animation are jam packed full of character. Within the first moments of me playing the demo I was invested in this character.
I also really appreciated that the team showed off how the game has evolved. A four panel image (see above) shows how the game’s environment and character grew and changed as Mongrel was being built. This is something I always love to see, and gives a peak behind the curtain of game development I love taking.
The characters and writing in Mongrel are another standout. While the sense of humor they’re imparting isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea with it’s scatological bent, I found it funny from the first moment. There’s some particularly biting and witty commentary woven in between the less high-brow humor, and each character you run into is an experience to encounter.
Mongrel‘s Kickstarter campaign is going on until May 30th, and is looking to raise $3,659 (it’s already raised $3001 at the time of publication).
If you’re interested in backing the project, or just taking a look at the backer rewards, head on over to the Kickstarter page.