First spotted when James and Liam (RPS in peace) covered the PC Gaming Show 2023, Mullet Mad Jack is a roguelike FPS with a Steam Next Fest demo out right now. And my goodness me, it rules. The retro anime aesthetic is cool, sure, but I particularly love its setup, which forces you to blast through corridors as fast as you possibly can. Yeah, this is extremely a bit of Edders, and it’s gone straight on the wishlist.
A little bit more on the setup, then. Mullet Mad Jack is set in a retro-futuristic tower where a hostage is, allegedly, being kept against her will by some robotic billionaires. You’re a guy called Jack, you have a mullet, and you’ve been employed to save the hostage. Doing so means distributing justice in tight corridors as you ascend each floor, with bullets, kicks, dashes, and katanas.
The catch? Your employer has connected your performance to social media likes and a timer that ticks down. On normal difficulty the timer is ten seconds, so if you stand around for too long, you’ll just die on the spot. The audience loves killing! So as long as you’re killing, you’re racking up precious likes and precious time. Seeing as it’s a roguelike, if you die, you return to the bottom of the tower but keep any permanent upgrades you’ve unlocked for future runs.
What this means for the rhythm of the game is wonderful. There is only one speed and it’s fast, with lots of details that promote a flow state and keep the pace from growing stale. You’ll bound between snaps and pops, as you katana some thug in half, proceed to kick a door open, launch an enemy into a fan with your boot, then stuff a VHS tape into the mouth of a robot so hard his head explodes.
The handling is crisp, and the upgrades you get to choose as you ascend floors seem to amp up nicely. I chose one that added extra time to my metre for crotch shots and another that spawned exploding barrels in convenient spots. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all.
You can find Mullet Mad Jack’s demo over on its Steam page.