“Max Mustard: A 90s-Inspired VR Platformer Revolutionizing the Genre”

The exhilaration I felt when Max Mustard first appeared on my Meta Quest 3 screens is indescribable. Its vibrant colors, whimsical adversaries, charming animations, plunger gun, and jet boots evoke the essence of 90s platformers. Yet, astonishingly, it makes its debut in 2024, and in virtual reality, no less.

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Max Mustard

At first glance, a VR platformer may seem unconventional, but considering the evolution of the genre, it’s a logical progression. Early platformers, like Pitfall and Super Mario Bros., were confined to side-scrolling 2D landscapes. Decades later, the emergence of 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, and Sonic Adventure transformed the genre entirely.

Given that there’s no 4D dimension, transitioning the genre into VR appears to be the next natural step. Now, players can not only control their character’s movements but also immerse themselves in the virtual world, experiencing enhanced depth perception and interacting with objects using their own hands.

Previous successes on the Meta Quest platform, such as the Moss series, Ghost Giant, and Lucky’s Tale, have already demonstrated the viability of this concept. However, the original PSVR’s AstroBot Rescue Mission stands as the pinnacle of VR platformers.

Enter Max Mustard, aiming to rival AstroBot’s throne by offering precise mechanics, hidden secrets in each level, jump boots, and even in-game controller upgrades. Equipping my controller with a plunger gun proved to be a stroke of genius, facilitating interaction with the virtual world, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

While I harbored initial doubts, they swiftly evaporated upon witnessing the game’s Saturday morning cartoon-like intro. Despite the indie developer’s limited track record—having only created the popular yet somewhat gimmicky Richie’s Plank Experience—the palpable enthusiasm for this new title permeates every moment spent in its lively universe.

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