Mutant Football League Review – This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Football

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Down. Set. Hut. Hut…Kill!


The unique and gruesome American football title – Mutant Football League – has officially released, bringing with it the brutal play style of the original mutant slaying football title from the 90s. Swinging plays in your favor or taking out the ref after a bad call, anything goes when you’re playing to stay alive in the MFL.

The carnage and mayhem that ensues on the field is absolutely entertaining, with a huge step towards immature hilarity. Playing through various matches has a few unique settings that can completely change the course of the game. There are few rules in the MFL, some of which can be bypassed entirely by shady and paid-off refs. Don’t let that discourage you, if players don’t agree with a call (which will happen, a lot) then take matters into your own hands and take slay the mutant ref. Fair is fair after all.

As any other American football game, players will take control of one team in a series of four quarters. Sifting through the offensive and defensive playbooks, there are a couple dozen of various plays dispersed between the roster of teams. Teams like the Croakland Invaders and Leaveland Burns are parodies to original NFL teams, only making subtle changes to the name that may, or may not poke a little fun at the corresponding teams. But this is only the start of the shenanigans that is the MFL.

The Dirty Playbook

Aside from completing traditional run and pass plays on offense, blitz and cover plays on defense, players also have a few dirty plays to help turn the tides in their favor. Running the ball with a player who’s equipped with a deadly chainsaw looking for any defender to try to stop them, setting off a psychedelic trip where all controls are reversed to confuse your opponents, or perhaps bribing the referee in your favor, the game of MFL is hardly a fair one. But that’s the entire point.

Just like any other football game…only it’s not.

One huge factor from the MFL gameplay is the chance to lose your players, permanently. Injuries happen all the time in professional sports, but death tends to happenĀ  in the MFL, a lot. Losing specific players to untimely death in the MFL can greatly hinder your strategy and gameplay, as well as make you forfeit the game if enough players are lost. After all players from one position are lost, no matter the score, the team with the less than required number of players loses the game. This gives even more incentive to throwing players into traps, using dirty plays, or just pummeling players after the whistle.

While there’s plenty of brutal finishers and gruesome deaths that occur during a single MFL match, the in-game announcers provide a huge portion of entertainment to the game. The snide and often cruel remarks throughout a match are hilarious enough to consistently wait for the next side-splitting one-liner. If the game never seems to be going your way, the MFL broadcasting crew will be sure you know about it on the field with the least amount of subtlety possible.

In the league of the MFL, dirty plays and trash talking announcers fill the screen in highly entertaining fashion. The brutal tackles and fights that break out are only part of what players must look out for on the gridiron. Every teams home field has a different theme, and within these themes are traps riddled across the field. Quick moving buzzsaws moving across the field, perfectly placed explosive mines, or tentacle monsters ready to tear players apart all wreak havoc o the MFL field.

Hazards clutter the field giving added obstacles during games.
Carve Your Path Through the MFL Season

The game let’s players carry out a 15 week-long season against teams from all over the MFL. Playoffs are held after the season, giving MFL players a chance to take it all home with the championship. The settings can be manipulated for different experiences and difficulties. The carnage level adds to the blood and gore, while changing the speed of the game will require players to have honed reflexes and skilled tactics.

Many of the game’s MFL teams are locked when initially starting off the game. These teams can be unlocked throughout the course of the game by achieving different tasks, like winning your first match, making the playoffs, or becoming the MFL champion. More teams, means different skilled players and mildly different playbooks. Every team has their own star players and skill stats available, each with their own charm for every player.

Every team is made of different mutants, like aliens, orcs or skeletons.
Nothing But Football

There’s no other modes other than playing MFL matches. Whether you’re getting a quick grudge match in, trying your skills in the full season mode or taking on the community in online play, there’s not much else to the carnage inducing MFL. There’s practice mode to help hone your skills, as well as Play Off mode, which sets players in the middle of a play off round between two randomized teams.

While it’s a nice touch to add a little variation in modes, the outcome is merely the same. All you’ll be doing is playing one game after another. Not that there’s anything arguably wrong with that, this is a football game after all, but some may find themselves fatigued from the repetitive gameplay and repeat announcer quotes as you pour more games into MFL.

Along with finding the open receiver, players will have to keep an eye on hazards and dirty plays.

Putting up with everything that happens to you during an MFL match is what makes becoming victorious all the more enjoyable. Anyone can win a simple match of football, but winning when the refs are calling your touchdown back because they simply don’t like you, or pulling through after your opponent has killed off all but one of your QBs makes the heat of competition that much more exciting.

Final Grade:

Throughout the years sports games have always hooked players into competitive play outside of gun fights and brawls. With Mutant Football League, the line separating the beat ’em ups with the sporting events grows even thinner. Combining insane mutant athletes with the intensity and aggression that comes with sports, players will find themselves amidst a wildly entertaining indie title. However with little else to do and repetitive gameplay and modes, most won’t find themselves coming back for more very often.

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