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Mutant Football League (Digital Dreams Entertainment, LLC)

Parents need to know that “Mutant Football League” is a downloadable action/sports game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows. The game is an arcade style football game, with basic controls that are relatively easy to pick up and play, but unique twists on traditional gameplay can be frustrating at times. It features over-the-top violence and profanity laced commentary in an extreme fantasy/sci-fi parody of American football, though both the violence/gore and profanity can be adjusted in the game’s settings. The running commentary and one-liners includes some crass jokes related to drug use and sexual content, and since they don’t necessarily include profanity, they can occasionally slip through regardless of the in-game settings.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

The gridiron becomes the meat grinder in “Mutant Football League,” the spiritual successor to the 1993 Sega Genesis classic “Mutant League Football.” There’s no such thing as “unnecessary roughness” in this world where 18 teams of monsters, undead, and yes, even aliens, face off in brutal 7-on-7 football action. Sportsmanship goes out the window too, as players can bribe the ref to swing momentum in their favor or use any number of other Dirty Tricks to electrocute, decapitate or otherwise dismember the other team. Getting outscored by the opposition? Who needs a mercy rule when you can just kill off enough players to force a forfeit? Home-field advantage takes on a whole new meaning when even the field itself is littered with landmines, pitfalls and other assorted booby traps. Football has never been more deadly … or more fun.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

“Full contact sports” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re dealing with booby traps and bloodthirsty creatures itching to win at any cost. At least that’s the premise behind the over-the-top, post-apocalyptic arcade football game “Mutant Football League.” Right off the bat, it needs to be said this isn’t exactly a wholesome, family-friendly take on football night. At its default settings, the game features more profanity, lewd jokes and bloody violence than a cheesy ’80s horror flick. That being said, most of the mature content can be either muted or cranked up to 11 in the game’s settings. Of course, even on the lower maturity settings, it’s still going to be more gladiatorial than gridiron.

No matter which way you choose to watch the action in “Mutant Football League,” you’re in for a fast-paced and fun arcade experience. With a reduced 7-on-7 lineup and a small but diverse selection of plays, the pace of the game is nonstop. The controls are straightforward and effective, and working the field is a relatively easy. The one drawback is that your AI teammates sometimes charge blindly into traps and hazards, especially during big plays. There’s nothing more frustrating than running down the field for a touchdown, only to learn four of your players are six feet under. But this can happen on both sides of the match, so it generally balances out. The same thing applies to the game’s various Dirty Tricks. These game-changing plays can drive you nuts when they’re used against you, but you can’t help relishing when you successfully pull one off for your team. As insane, brutal and dirty as “Mutant Football League” can be, it’s still surprisingly balanced and just a heck of a lot of fun.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 16 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Positive messages: 0 out of 5

Positive role models: 0 out of 5

Ease of play: 4 out of 5

Violence: 5 out of 5

Sex: 2 out of 5

Language: 5 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 3 out of 5

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Consumerism: 1 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)

GAME DETAILS

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One

Price: $19.99

Developer: Digital Dreams Entertainment, LLC.

Release date: January 19, 2018

Genre: Sports

ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Mature Humor, Strong Language, Violence

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