This Muck review has got to be one of the most inspiring stories that I’ve seen so far. Responding to a random YouTube comment, Dani defied the odds and actually made a great game that everyone is currently enjoying.
For a free-to-play title on Steam that currently has over 40,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews and you won’t see a single thumb down. I simply couldn’t pass on trying this game out.
We’ve seen other popular roguelike games such as Dark Souls, and Hades and I feel like Muck deserves to be on this list.
With the recent updates especially with the additional bosses, we dive in on what to expect in this immersive experience and how it feels like playing both alone and with good company.
Muck First Impressions
The eyes of the character model from the first time I launched the game somewhat reminds me of the soldiers in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator while the atmosphere reminds me of a mix of Minecraft and Valheim.
As per Dani and the other reviewers of the game, they also said that the gameplay is also inspired by the Risk of Rain series and I suddenly had the urge of getting those games too off Steam while it’s still on sale as of this writing.
Just like with any survival sandbox game, you’re spawned at a random location in the map with picking a rock as your first task and using it to slap some trees to get you building and crafting.
From here, it’s up to you what to prioritize first: crafting tools or building a base. The visuals of this game are stunning despite its rapid development and it can run on potato PCs.
Although hunger won’t be much of an issue on the first day, I would recommend picking up apples or mushrooms while exploring so you’re prepared when midnight strikes and if you’re lucky, slay some cows to get their meat.
This is probably the only advice that I could give, you figure out the rest. The inventory interface looks clean and well-organized giving you a nice amount of maximum items that you can carry.
Playing Muck Solo or Co-op Is A Real Challenge
The first couple of attempts of surviving will be a headache as you try and explore the map quickly while taking note of your hunger which if you empty the bar, you won’t be able to recover stamina.
You also need to watch the day/night cycle duration in Muck because time here flies so fast that you won’t notice that it’s midnight already.
But once midnight starts, prepare yourself for a lot of surprise mobs ranging from Dave (we don’t talk about him) and weird green baddies that remind you of grey dwarves in Valheim.
There are even wolves and rock golems and a lot of challenging bosses ahead the longer you survive. Just hope you don’t randomly encounter the Guardian because you’re in for a beating!
Muck also has some gacha elements as well similar to Genshin Impact where you’ll open a lot of chests scattered on the map hoping that you get a couple of good (and punny) powerups.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to save your progress every time you want to play Muck unless Dani puts out an update so you might want to save a day or two for you to try and beat the game.
I recommend playing the game by yourself first before inviting your friends over to your server because it could get really difficult with more people jumping in.
After 10 hours of miserably failing every attempt to escape the island, I got curious about how long this game will take to finish.
I manage to stumble upon a playthrough clip (spoiler alert!) where one user played it for 736 minutes straight or roughly 12 hours.
Dani’s passion shows in this game that he added an ending on the latest update with more bosses and challenges.
If you’re a big fan of procedurally generated roguelike survival games just like me, then you’ll definitely have a blast grinding for hours in Muck.
While most roguelikes are designed to be hard and mods for this game are starting to pop out, if I’m going to nitpick on what could be added for official updates it would be these things:
- A “casual” game mode should be present where you can save your progress especially for the chill players who want to simply enjoy the immersive experience.
- There’s a Creative game mode where it’s expected to have no enemy spawns but sometimes it felt like you’re still playing in Survival mode because I got the occasional spawns unless that’s just Dani’s way of trolling with the players.
- The base building aspect needs to improve because it feels seems rushed and pretty useless. You’ll be too occupied dealing with the day/night cycle when playing solo unless you assign one of your friends to build your fort.
- At least give players an idea of what seed value was generated on every playthrough because there might be good islands worth replaying (“Never Gonna Give You Up” seems to be one of the nicest map seeds in my opinion)
Regardless if you get mods for the game or not, you shouldn’t sleep on Muck especially with its unique blend of roguelike and survival. Plus, it won’t cost you a dime to play this on Steam. Back to the Muck hole!
This review is based on the PC version of Muck. The key was provided by Dani