M.U.D.S. logo

Rainbow Arts £24.99 * Joystick and mouse

Montana takes a bad snap, play fakes to Craig and then throws a long bomb to Rice. Rice rounds two defenders, breaks a tackle and he's in for the flonkpott. It's just these kind of moves that have made MUDS the only sport real men (or in fact any creature than can run, tackle and fight) play in the land of Ghold.

You take on the role of coach to a squad of fresh-faced MUDSmen. Under your guidance they aim to win the ultimate MUDS prize: the Great Cup. You control everything from the plays on the pitch through to buying new players and bribing referees.

League Violence
MUDS is a bit like Rugby League, but more violent. It's played on a pitch 320 Gholdfoot wide and 576 long that's divided into seven distinct areas. At each end is a score zone, where a radius plott is found. In front of the plott is a deep moat filled with water and a very hungry shark. The main playing area consists of an attack and defence zone separated by no-mans land.

Teams must move the flonk up the pitch by passing and running. When in the attack zone they can either try to throw the flonk into the plott or leap the moat and try and place it in. Both methods score you a floptt; a throw counts for one point, the slamdunk earning two. The team with the most points wins the game. Alternatively, busting up the other team so badly that they can no longer field five players also wins you the match by default.

Follow The Flonk
The game can be controlled in two ways. Firstly you can take charge of a single player and let the rest of your boys work to a predetermined strategy, or flick to the player nearest the flonk. Passing and tackling is via the fire button.

Secondly, a management section has been tacked onto this 'future sport' sim which allows expansion of the game and exploration of the world of Ghold. While on tour you have to keep enough readies rolling in to pay travel taxes, while at home practice has to be undertaken to ensure the squad is ready for the next bout.

The humour in MUDS is enshrined in its graphics and stupid rules. You have to understand the sport to win and learning is fun thanks to the strange and varied species that compose the team. The animations, though small, are full of character and help to make the first initial defeats tolerable.

The problem with MUDS is the disk access. In the heat of battle a new load is needed just to switch to the substitutions/options menu.
This destroys rhythm and breaks up this fantasy sports game into fragmented sections. This is at its worst when saving out successful teams to disk. Apparently to discourage 'cheating', the coders designed the game to crash after save, forcing you tlo load the whole thing - copy protection and all - back in to continue play.

Even disk problems cannot disguise the charm of MUDS, it may be a slow loader, but once in the game it's easy to find yourself wrapped up in the fantasy world, where ostrich creatures are sporting heroes and bribing the ref is considered sporting conduct.


WHAT DID YOU SAY?
MUDS - Short for Mean Ugly Dirty Sport. Gholdmunz - Monetary unit.
Flonk - Small pterodactyl used as a ball. Brue - Beer.
Plott - A big bucket used as a goal. Gordon - Where your team is based.
Flonkpott - A scoring move where a flonk (qv) is put in the plott (qv). Gholdfoot - Universal unit of measurement.
Floptt - Abbrv. of Flonkpott (qv). The Great Cup - The MUDS equivalent of the FA Cup or Superbowl.
Ghold - The world where MUDS is played (qv). Dneprodzerzhinsk - A City in the USSR. Pop. 279.000

M.U.D.S. logo Amiga Joker Hit

Die Programmierer von "Grand Monster Slam" haben wieder zugeschlagen: Das gemeinste, schmutzigste und originellste Sportspiel der letzten 99 Jahre ist endlich auch für den Amiga erhältlich!

Der sinnige Titel steht für "Mean Ugly Dirty Sports" und beschreibt den Charakter dieser ruppigen Fantasy-Rugby-Variante recht treffend. Hier stehen keine vorbildlichen Sportler auf dem Platz, sondern zu allem entschlossene Sträflinge, die auf dem Sklavenmarkt eingekauft wurden. Und hier zählt auch nicht Fair Play, sondern nur die Sieg - schließlich geht's um den Pokalgewinn!

Der Spieler bestimmt als Manager über das Schicksal eines fünf Mann starken Teams, er kann aber auch selbst ins wüste Gerangel auf dem Spielfeld eingreifen.

Beim Spielereinkauf sollte man sein besonders Augenmerk auf die (sehr unterschiedlichen) Fähigkeiten der einzelnen Kandidaten richten: Ein - "Warklong" beispielsweise hat einen sehr geringen Luftwiderstand und eignet sich deshalb gut als Läufer; anderen machen eher bei den unvermeidlichen Prügeleien auf dem Platz eine gute Figur oder sind die geborenen Strategen.

Als Faustregel gilt: Bullige "Hau draufs" sind meist schlechte Läufer, windschnittige Stürmer dagegen gehen oft schon beim ersten Bodycheck zu Boden. Als Manager muß man sich aber noch um vieles mehr kümmern, z.B. seinen Spielern Hotelzimmer besorgen, auf der Bank oder bei einem Kredithai (zu horrenden Zinsen) das nötige Kapital auftreiben und (ganz wichtig) die richtigen Leute bestechen.

Wer den gegnerischen Cracks abends in der Taverne ein Bierchen spendiert, erhält vielleicht wichtige Infos über das nächste Spiel. Noch besser ist es natürlich, gleich den Schiedsrichter zu schmieren...

Sobald Mannschaftaufstellung und gewünschte Taktik feststehen, kann man noch in einem Wettbüro auf sein Team setzen, dann geht's ab ins Stadion.

Auf dem vertikal scrollenden Spielfeld muß man den kleinen Saurier, der als Ball fungiert (und natürlich auch bestechlich ist...) möglichst oft in das gegnerische Faß bugsieren.

Erlaubt ist dabei alles, was weh tut: Man kann den Gegner umhauen, Prügeleien anfangen, und wenn all Stricke reißen, auch mal einen geschickten Spielzug inszenieren. Bezeichnenderweise ist das Match auch dann gewonnen, wenn es einem gelingt, die gegnerische Mannschaft soweit zu dezimieren, bis sie nicht mehr genügend (lebende) Spieler für ein komplettes Team hat!

Während man den Strategeteil von M.U.D.S. als Solist bestreiten muß (man kann ihn aber auch ganz weglassen), gibt es im Actionteil auch einen Zwei-Spieler-Modus. Die herrlich schrägen Grafiken machen M.U.D.S. zu einer Augenweide, schade ist nur, daß die Spieler auf dem Platz ziemlich mickrig aussehen.

Im strategischen Programmteil sind alle Aktionen menügesteuert und bequem per Maus zu erledigen. Die Action in der Spielarena wird ebenfalls problemlos mit dem Joystick gesteuert. Dazu gibt's heiße Musiken von Chris Hülsbeck und eine hübsch gemachte Anleitung - Kämpferhertz, was willst du mehr? (C. Borgmeier)


M.U.D.S. logo CU Amiga Screenstar

As sport games go M.U.D.S. is extremely basic. But Rainbow Arts' novel approach has produced a potential classic.
M.U.D.S. is set in a typical Dungeons and Dragons style land: the middle ages with plenty of monster running round. The main pastime consists of watching M.U.D.S., a violent team sport that's not too unlike an Arsenal Vs Man United match with two teams trying to score in opposing goals while knocking merry hell out of each other.

Take over as player/manager of a small backwater M.U.D.S. team and aim to become the biggest sensation the sport has ever seen.

M.U.D.S. the sport is a cross between soccer, rugby and American football. A team consists of five players - two in defence, one midfielder and two attackers. Instead of a ball, a small creature called a Flink is used, which is vomited onto the pitch by a larger creature.

There's a bucket at either end of the pitch which acts as a goal, into which the Flonk must be thrown. Between the goal and the defenders lies a shark infested moat, which can be negotiated by players, but at great risk.

The average team consists of five main players plus six or seven reserves. In turn these are made up from the sixteen different races that inhabit the land. Each race has it's own plus points and disadvantages. Fuzzools, for instance, are obsessed with playing in M.U.D.S. teams, even though the hapless creatures are considered to be a delicacy in some part of the country and likely to be eaten while on tour.

Tackling is performed with fists. Tapping the button once causes a mild tackle, twice and a player will fight until him or his opponent drops. A foul occurs when a player without the Flonk is tackled. If the ref isn't looking you can usually get away with this, if you are spotted the offending player is encased in a block of ice for thirty seconds as punishment.

A large part of the game is devoted to the campaign mode, during which you look after your team, buy players, nobble the opposition, and arrange tours. Select a hotel to use as HQ. If you don't stash your team in a hotel they end up milling around the streets getting into trouble. Every town has a slave market where you can purchase fresh players for your squad, or flog off the trashy ones.

Banks are o hand to update you on your finances, or lend you a small amount of cash. If you're particularly skint a loan shark will spot you a couple of grand, although this is risky - if you default on your payments, their collection methods can prove painful...

And you're not just limited to one city. M.U.D.S. is set across the entire continent. This provides you with plenty of different teams and locations, and stops things from becoming repetitive.

Initially M.U.D.S. seems very simplistic, but once you start playing it takes on a style of its own. Not only is it funny and uncomplicated, but incredibly addictive. One of the best games I've played in a long time.


Shady deals take place in the bar. Apart from picking up tips on how to improve your game, you also get to meet opposition players. If you're feeling flush there's an option that lets you pay off other players. For instance, you might persuade them to play badly, or even join your side. Picking a fight with somebody is also a good way to mess them up before a match. It boosts your players' morale too.
IN CONTROL? There's nothing innovative about the control system. Control whichever Flonk is the nearest, or just one team member. Holding the fire button down releases a cursor which is used to place your shot, and releasing the button throws the Flonk. The length of time this procedure takes often means you're fouled before you let go of the Flonk, definitely the downside of the game.

M.U.D.S. Gallery of Ghouls
M.U.D.S.: Humans
Humans are good all-rounders. Their main drawback is unreliability; but it's often worth placing one in mid-fields.
M.U.D.S.: Whizzles
Whizzles are amazingly fast, but weak. They need to be kept well fed otherwise they'll feast on other players.
M.U.D.S.: Etants
Etants are slow, strong and incredibly thick - in other words natural defenders, only surpassed by Bulls.
M.U.D.S.: Warklonks
If it's speed you want, the Warklonks are the fastest. Unfortunately, they're the weakest creatures in MUDS.
M.U.D.S.: Bulls
The word tough was for Bulls. They're the biggest, strongest creatures in the whole of MUDS. The perfect, indestructible defenders.

M.U.D.S. logo

Rainbow Arts, £24.99

Overcrowded prisons? The continent of Ghold has come up with a novel solution: get all those lazy convicts working to earn enough money to buy their freedom. There's a choice of four careers: stone breaking, gluing paper bags, being a medical guinea pig or playing MUDS.

The latter stands for Mean Ugly Dirty Sport and is the most popular option. The game is a sort of violent cross between basketball and American football, with scoring achieved by throwing a flonk (a small pterodactyl-like creature which is open to bribery!) into the opposition's flonkpott. Two teams of five play on a pitch divided into three sections: two defensive zones with a no man's land in between. In front of each flonkpott there's a moat, infested with a hungry carnivorous creature - if you're brave enough to place the flonk in the pott by jumping across, you score two points!

The rules of this 'sport' are simple: basically you can do anything you like, hitting opponents, even starting a full-blown fight - except in no man's land where you can only tackle the ball carrier (unless you've bribed the ref!).

Substitutions can be made freely by calling a time-out and are often necessary to replace dead players - one way of winning the match is to decimate opposition!

As coach of a MUDS team, you start out in the city of Gorden. Here you can book your players to the healer, bet on MUDS matches and visit inns (where you can buy drinks, bribe/hire opposing players or even start a massive punch-up!). Money can be borrowed from the bank or loan shark.

You can strengthen your squad by buying and selling players, which can be any of several races - the only limitation in selecting your five-player team is that you can't mix races within any of the three pitch sections.

If you play a full campaign, the objective is to beat each of four teams in four regions to win the Great Cup. This requires you to visit other cities, paying your taxes before you go! Matches can be played between one or two players against the computer, or even computer vs. Computer. Two-player practice matches can also be played.


Phil King Violent sport, I love it! MUDS is a bit like American football without the complicated rules, i.e. you can go around hitting other players and starting punch-ups! You an even bribe the ref before the match! Two-player games are a good laugh, with fights breaking out all over the pitch, but to get the most out of MUDS, you must play a full campaign. This is where some strategy comes in: trading players, bribing opponents for information, betting on matches, having a few bevvies, starting punch-ups, etc. The trouble is, once the game's humorous novelty wears off, you're left with a simple beat-'em-up cum sports sim which lacks the varied scoring tactics of Speedball 2. It's great fun while it lasts, though.
Stuart Wynne MUDS combines an enjoyable combat/sports game with a management side so sophisticated as to be an adventure, complete with bribery, slave trading, pub punch-ups and 16 cities to visit. The graphics are good throughout, with some attractive management pics and nice sprites - there's an amazing range of creatures, all quite tiny but superbly animated and boasting varying characteristics. Actual on-pitch gameplay is a fairly straightforward mix of frenetic combat and mad dashes toward the flonkpott. Control can be a little fiddly with so much happening, even in the simple 'Nearest Player' mode, however the character animation and good presentation (such as the referee's hand gestures) make it all very entertaining. Combined with the depth of the management game and great sense of humour, MUDS offers plenty of value for money. Although it lacks the strength of the easily accessible basic gameplay in Speedball 2, MUDS is bound to a huge cult hit.
M.U.D.S.

OVERALL
79%

Good dirty fun.
PRESENTATION 87%
Free poster, humorous manual. One or two players (competitive or cooperative), savable full campaign, loads of statistics.
GRAPHICS 74%
Characterful player sprites, pitch seems a bit empty though.
SOUND 68%
Bombastic title tune, fanfares, adequate tackling and crowd FX.
HOOKABILITY 76%
Two-player games are fun and funny, though controls seems a bit fiddly at first.
LASTABILITY 88%
Full campaign is a huge challenge with the strategy of trading players, bribing flanks, visiting new cities, etc.