Mud Warriors – Gameboy Colour Review

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If I told you there are new games for GameBoy in the modern era of “Next Gen” consoles you’d think I was crazy right? It is getting mighty close to 25 years since the GameBoy Colour hit store shelves and yet indie developers are releasing/developing new games for the retro handheld with increasing frequency. One such game is Mud Warriors, a collaboration between Polyducks and Lance Campbell.

Playground Warfare – Mud Warriors

An adaptation of Ryan Veeder’s text adventure Mud Warriors, it was originally released in Sept 2021 and it got an Analogue Pocket release on Jan 28th 2022.

gameboy colour cover art for Mud Warriors showing a hand drawn image of a boy wearing white t-shirt shorts cap and backpack. The boy is throwing mud to the foreground. Above the boy text reads: "Ryan Veeder's Mud Warriors"
new retro

This game runs natively on Analog Pocket via its support for GBStudio games using the micro-SD slot. If you don’t have a retro device to play this on then it is also available to play in your browser directly on the itch website. It even ran very nicely in the browser on my android phone – no apps or trickery required.

Mud Warriors splash screen menu showing options "Start" or "Credits". The bottom of the image has a + shaped directional button on the left, "B" and "A" buttons on the right with "start" and "select" buttons below
android browser

I had the pleasure of chatting with the games creators Ben and Lance who have seen a huge resurgence in classic gaming of late. They highlighted that with recycling of old hardware becoming a very popular trend, that the tools for development of the games are blossoming right now.

If like me you have fallen down the rabbit hole of this GB game development scene be sure to let us know in the comments if you come across any gems we should check out.


Set in the 90’s the game takes place during a supervised after school session of fun. Players take on the role of one of the kids who are engaged in a game called Mud Warriors. The game is the brainchild of after school supervisor Mike.

a yellow cartoon hand holding a square piece of white paper with "Mud Warrior Pass" written on it in black text. The bottom right is signed "Mike"A pixel art image of an adult sitting on a bench with a coffee beside them, engaged in conversation with with a small kid dressed in white. The bottom of the image shows the conversation with the adult saying: "More stars mean better fighting skills".a yellow cartoon hand holding a square piece of white paper with "Mud Warrior Pass" written on it in black text. There are 3 small yellow stars below this text. The bottom right is signed "Mike"

Mike in his infinite wisdom has devised a way to earn an extra few bucks while also keeping the kids out of his hair at the same time. He has distributed Warrior Passes (laminated square cards) among the children. The warrior passes denote each kids fighting skill level with a star rating. Stars are purchased for a quarter each from the brainchild of the operation – Mike.

The kids are divided into two factions – General Shaquille’s troops who occupy the east side of the school yard and General Betsy’s troops whose territory is on the west side. South Park: The Stick of Truth comes to mind here.

Each enemy you meet protects an area of their territory so your task is to find quarters to increase your star level so you can defeat each one in battle. The enemies become increasingly more skilled as you progress through the story.

The fights are automated once you engage in battle with each character taking it in turn to throw mud at each other. The number of hits you can take is determined by the number of stars you have accrued.

Graphics & Audio

The pixel art on display is really nice with the environments well designed and detailed. Subtle animations enrich the world the team has crafted.

2 pixel art characters stand face to face in front of a brick building with double doors. To the right of the double doors is a vending machine. The bottom right of the image shows a menu with the options - Talk, Fight or Flee. An arrow points to the Fight optionA pixel art character climbs a rope ladder into the top of a treehouse2 pixel art characters face to face in the shade of a large tree. The bottom of the image shows a text transcription of the conversation with the character on the right saying: "Let's get muddy!"

One of the real stand outs in Mud Warriors is the audio. It’s excellent. It heightens the tension where and when it is needed and brilliantly enhances the whole experience. What makes it extra special though is that the music was created by none other than Ryan Veeder.


By no means a long game it can be finished in less than 2 hours. If you do manage to get to the end I advise staying for the end credits as they are the best credits I’ve ever seen in a game. Returning for a subsequent play through will still have you grinning and further exploration is very enjoyable.

  2 pixel art characters in conversation in a gated area. The bottom of the image shows a text transcription of the conversation with the character on the left saying: "General Betsy knows she has the upper hand."a yellow backpack with two squares arranged vertically to the right. The top square contains a note and has an arrow pointing to it. The bottom square contains a coin.Fight screen for Mud Warriors on Gameboy Colour showing the player facing off against an enemy called Jake. The top of the image shows Jake with 1 Star rating and You (the player) with 1 star rating. The middle of the image shows the 2 pixel art characters facing off in an arena of mud. The bottom of the image show a text description of the battle reading: "Jake tosses some mud at you and hits your leg."

Final Thoughts

Lance Campbell & Polyducks say their collaborations are about bringing the great writing and storytelling of the Interactive Fiction (IF) community to more people. By having the creator of the original material on board in a consultancy role they have more than succeeded in their task of creating a video game that is worthy of the original and respects the artistic vision of the author.

If you want a short adventure with such charm and wit, that is excellently crafted and so perfectly paced then you’ve got to give this smashing game go.

I look forward with great anticipation to their new game Excelsior – another Interactive Fiction collaboration this time with author Arthur DiBianca.

Mud Warriors wipes away the mud to take home the shiny Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

Thumb Culture

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