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Mullet Mad Jack Review – Save the girl, save the world

I'm here to shoot robots and chew bubble gum, and I'm not out of bubble gum.

Developers tend to add complicated mechanics to make their game stand out. Most of the time, this works against them because players don’t fully understand what the game is trying to convey. However, for the topic at hand with Mullet Mad Jack, this is very much the opposite. Mullet Mad Jack is a short, simple, and over-the-top game that ends just when its formula starts to get stale. But, man, that formula is an absolute blast.

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Moderate this!

Set in a future where robot billionaires have taken over, these billionaires have hired Moderators (like your main character, Jack) to provide the AI with a constant supply of dopamine to keep it alive. How is this done you may ask? By killing other robots. If you don’t kill anything within 10 seconds, you die. While basic survival is one of Jack’s goals, the primary motivation is saving a streaming princess trapped inside a tower block. 

Mullet Mad Jack Review:
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Think of it like a Twitch stream. The Moderators ban the bots to save to stream, and the AI are the stream’s viewers — now add a thick layer of violence on top of that and you have Mullet Mad Jack.

Mullet Mad Jack’s story may not be the center point of the game, but it does a great job of justifying itself. In a nod to classic Mario, every time you beat a level, the princess awaits — but it’s a ruse. She’s pushed up a level, forcing you to keep going. The sheer simplistic pulpiness was more than enough narrative motivation to save the princess. But let’s be real: Mullet Mad Jack’s fast and frenetic gameplay is the main course.

No fat, no filler, all fun

As PC Invasion editor Luis Prada puts it, Mullet Mad Jack is like if Neon White, Hades, and Cyberpunk 2077 had a baby. That’s probably the best way to sell the game to someone. It’s a lean, focused explosion of colors and robot violence that does not let you breathe from the moment you start your first action-packed run.

As you enter a level, you’ll see a timer on your left hand and a gun or sword on your right. The time is, essentially, your health bar. If you get shot, your time goes down. To replenish it, you have to kill. Depending on what difficulty you’re on, this can be anywhere around one second or four seconds per kill. But if you find an item such as a knife, book, or hammer, and smash a robot in the face with it, your time refills to ten seconds.  

Mullet Mad Jack Review:
Image: HAMMER95

It’s a mechanic that feels inspired by Doom 2016’s Glory Kill system, which granted health after performing a brutal Glory Kill move that was always a guaranteed kill. Like Doom, Mullet Mad Jack’s version is much more than a hyper-violent Mortal Kombat finishing move. It’s a strategic option you can keep in your back pocket at all times. I made it a rule only to use it whenever I was down to three seconds to give me a second wind.

The system forces you to play aggressively. Slowing down or turning around is a death sentence. As long as you have some powerful weapons, maintaining the 10 seconds throughout the level should be easy. 

Weapons are all standard FPS fare – machine guns, shotguns, plasma guns, etc. Everyone will have a personal fav based on their playstyle. But it’s in the upgrades that the weapon – and the game itself – becomes yours to craft into the experience you want. You get a choice between levels: a new weapon or two upgrades. You can only select one. An upgrade provides a modifier for that run. You can earn upgrades like adding health or giving you the chance to dual-wield weapons. Upgrades are going to be your best friend, especially the ones you get at the end of each stage because those are permanent. The system kept me on my toes, constantly exploring my feelings toward my current build and how I can shape it going forward.

Mullet Mad Jack Review
Image: HAMMER95

Synthpunk? Cyberwave?

Mullet Mad Jack is a roguelike. When you die you start over with a whole new level layout. This means checkpoints have been moved around, items won’t appear where they were last, and the level itself might be a little longer. That said, every level looks the same. I know – not the most in-depth analysis. It’s all the same Sythwave/Cyberpunk aesthetic…and that’s fine. Mullet Mad Jack isn’t a game that wants you to stand around and contemplate its setting. This isn’t Skyrim. Its core gameplay loop is confined to 10 seconds or less. It purposely does not give you time to soak in your surroundings because it wants you to move and react. Killing robots before either they or the simple passage of time gets you first is your priority.

Levels are straight-shot hallways with occasional shortcuts and minor deviations. But mostly you’re charging full speed ahead, destroying everything in your path.

Mullet Mad Jack Dual Weilding
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Mullet Mad Jack is a lot like a really sugary dessert. It’s euphoric for a bite or two, and then quickly feels one-note. I started feeling like this around the end of the fourth level. I guess the developers understood that with the formula firmly established, it was time to toss some complications and nuance into the runs. This came in the form of new enemy types. Just when I was getting comfortable with my selection of baddies to kill, all of a sudden there were dudes with shields or enemies with giant shotguns that can hit you from a mile away. The evolution isn’t the most extreme, but in a game with a fairly short playtime (you can finish the whole thing in around three hours), these little twists were welcome.

Rhythm keeps you alive

The music for Mullet Mad Jack needs its own section. The late-80s, early-90s anime aesthetic is perfectly paired with its Synthwave soundtrack that practically provides you with a BPM to time your shots, even without a Hi-Fi Rush-style rhythm mechanic. While you don’t have to stay on the beat, I did anyway.

Every shot you take, every robot you punch in the face gets amplified by the beat. Mowing down the robot army has an energetic feel to it that propelled me toward the end of every level.

Mullet Mad Jack Enemy Jumping At Player1
Image: HAMMER95

Mullet Mad Jack is a rush that ends just when things are beginning to get stale. It knows what it is, and what it is is condensed into every run: fast, loud, violent, and a joy. It’s not intended to stick around for too long. Mullet Mad Jack is the video game equivalent of skydiving or bungee jumping. Some people will be hooked for life, while most will appreciate the thrill as they’re doing it, but they’ll mostly be appreciative that it ended soon after it began. Not because it’s a bad experience, but because it might be too much of a good one.

Mullet Mad Jack

Mullet Mad Jack is a hyper stylized shooter with a lot under the hood. The simple yet addicting gameplay loop is more than enough to keep players engaged for the long term.

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Raza Malik
Raza is a Contributing Writer who's been at PC Invasion since March 2023. After he earned his Media Arts degree at Niagara College, he went on to grow his portfolio by working at such publications as GameRant. While he plays a wide array of different types of games, Raza enjoys discussing open-world games, shooters, and live service games. Some of his favorite series include Assassin's Creed, God of War, and the Diablo series. On the side, he enjoys editing videos, and creating content for his side project Marching Into Madness.