M.U.D.S. (Mean Ugly Dirty Sports) is a slightly humorous but definitely violent game in which the game itself is won by scoring at least 7 out of 14 goals or by killing enough of the opposing team. Tackles, pummelings, being thrown into the moat -where a shark-like thing will eat you if you don't get out on time- are just some of the things that can happen to your team.
Ofcourse, there are more ways to win: bribing the opposing team, the referee, or the creature which is used as the ball are worth considering.
Should your team need a little extra morale, just pick a fight, or buy and sell players on the slave market whenever you like.
M.U.D.S. vaguely resembles Speedball in the sense that you try to throw the ball in the opponent's goal, but that's where the resemblance ends for me.
Every weekend the crowds flow into the Gorden City's stadium. The atmosphere, filled with howling and shouting, reaches its climax, as the teams move in. There are small but agile lizards straight in the forward positions and heavy boys to care for the defence. And then the crowd rushes as the town's favourite center player walks towards his position. Everyone eagerly awaits the referee's signal to let the game begin. This sport is not for gentle natures, as it's a battle in which the person at the bottom of the stack usually is the one, who has committed the foul. This game is M.U.D.S.!
Welcome to one of the most unbelievable sports games you will find in the entire gaming world. This game is a little bit like rugby... and it also is something completely different. It takes place on the strange continent Ghould with various races and people on it, and you are the coach of the Gorden City's M.U.D.S. team. The concept is easy: There are two teams with 5 field-players each. Besides the players, which may consist of almost every race, there are two other creatures on the field. First is the referee, who is always a member of the Shiris, the most incorruptible race on the continent, the second is the Flonk. Flonks are pterodactyls who can't fly and have a boundless enthusiasm for sport. As they were considered too small for M.U.D.S., but as they didn't stop begging, they were allowed to take the part of the ball. The aim of the game is to beat all other M.U.D.S. teams on the continent and make your way through the four different leagues (grassland, swamp, wood and ice). Only then you'll be allowed to battle for the Great Cup, the highest goal a M.U.D.S. team can ever achieve.
You have to score as much points as possible by putting the flonk into a pott at the opponent side of the field. This is therefore called a Flonkpott. A normal throw into the pott scores for one point, but you can also place the Flonk directly into the pott by jumping in the moat, which is digged on each site of the field. This action is called Double Flonkpott and scores for two points. But beware of the monster that lives in the moat and has players for favourite meal. The match is over when 7 Flonks have been placed in the potts, the team with the higher score wins. Another way to end the match is to decimate the opponent players, so they are no longer able to set up a complete team on the field. Then they automatically looses the match. The field itself is divided into three zones. There are the attack and defence areas at the ends and the no-man's-land in the middle. In the two zones at the ends basically everything is allowed. You may attack other players as you wish, weapons have to be subscribed, however. In the no-man's-land only the player carrying the flonk may be attacked. Other attacks are considered as fouls and will be punished by the Shiri (if he gets aware of the action).
M.U.D.S. can be played by one or two players using keyboard or mouse. I would recommend the keyboard controls, as they can be set up freely and mouse control seems to be too sluggish to play. The control itself is easy. There are just the four directions and a action button, which is used for throwing, passing, fighting and selecting the active player as well. The only disadvantage in this concept is, that you can't move while using the actions. Besides the matches, the game is controlled by mouse using various menus. These are accessed over the city maps. Just move the cursor over the map and you'll see icons pop up for the different locations you can access. The graphics are fine, even if some fields (especially in the wood league) look a bit crappy. More variety would have come nice here. You get music at the start screen and some sounds while playing. Not too much, but just right to put your favourite action music in the cd-player for some backgrounds. Normally I hate sports games, but this one is the big exception, as it is just fun to play and has a very humorous background. Therefore it is still rated with 4, which might be a bit subjective, though.
So if you like to play uncommon sports, if you are looking for some funny distraction easy to play, or if you simply love monsters, this is the game you should consider for your next weekend. You can complete it on a single afternoon, but it may happen that you won't stop playing, when you've started it once.
Undoubtedly one of the most fun and original sports games ever devised, M.U.D.S. combines rugby's basic rules, RPGs' character development, and tons of strategic options and original concepts into a wholly engrossing fantasy sports game that will keep you up nights, with a near-perfect balance between strategic team management and arcade action. The core sports game is also put in the rich context of different town locales, where you can pick fights and even bribe the opposing team before the match to give your team some advantage. When the match starts, the action is furious, the movement is fluid, and the controls are intuitive. In short, original sports games don't get any better than this-- a definite must have for any sports fan!
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