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So I Tried... Mutazione

So I Tried... Mutazione

In each edition of So I Tried… I will try a game that I have never played before. Will I find something new to love? Will I find something new to despise? I'll take a full half hour to see if this is the game for me, no matter how bad it gets or how badly I do. This time, I embarked on a story-rich, slice-of-life adventure in Mutazione.

What I Thought It Was

mutazione meeting the cast

I’m honestly not surprised Mutazione showed up on my Steam recommendations; it’s labelled as a relaxing story-rich walking sim, and, at this point, all my GameGrin colleagues know I’m always up for a casual narrative experience. What surprised me was that this game came out in 2019, and I’ve yet to play it!

At first glance, I immediately got Kentucky Route Zero vibes from its art style and assumed I was in for a cosy yet supernatural time (with a hint of drama) since it’s described as “a mutant soap opera.” If you’ve ever read the low-stakes fantasy novel Legends & Lattes — which features an orc starting her own coffee shop — that’s essentially the atmosphere I was expecting!

What It Actually Is

mutazione grandfather dialogue

Mutazione is the cosy time I expected with easy point-and-click gameplay, an already loveable mutant cast of characters, and dialogue-heavy storytelling. But it’s also so much more than that! Sometimes a game finds you when you need it most, and with what I’m going through in my life right now, it feels like fate.

We step into the shoes of 15-year-old Kai as she travels to the titular town, Mutazione, to care for her ailing grandfather and reconnect with her family history. When Kai visits him shortly after arriving, he’s asleep and you can choose to set your head on his chest to listen for a heartbeat. He wakes up, of course, and a few things become clear as conversation blooms between them: this is their first time meeting, her grandfather is dying, and they have a lot to learn about each other. There’s this sense of ache and confusion as they both navigate loss and grief, and I couldn’t help but cry at first, as my own grandfather is ill and those “just in case” trips back home are becoming more frequent for me. I’m nearly double Kai’s age, but I relate to her situation deeply. 

Needless to say, every time Kai talks to her grandfather, I get a bit emotional. But I’m also having a lot of fun meeting the characters, from a cat-like huntress named Miu and a hulking green mutant named Tung. I’ve already caught some small-town gossip and I’m interested to see where it’s going.

As I neared the end of my first 30 minutes with Mutazione, I also gained the ability to collect seeds throughout the town. I suspect this has to do with the gardening mechanic mentioned on the Steam page, so it definitely seems like there’s more to do than just walking and talking. I’m curious to see what I end up harvesting, as Vogelberry, Red Ti, and Bearweed are all interesting seed names that I’ve collected so far.

Will I Keep Playing?

mutazione small town gossip

Absolutely, yes. Mutazione’s storytelling is compelling from the get-go, and I love how you get to connect with so many different characters. The slice-of-life vibes make everything feel cosy and there’s a delightful balance of thoughtful, earnest dialogue with funny moments as well. I’m really curious to see where it takes me, and I’m sure there are little nuggets to glean about community and connection along the way.

So I Tried
Alyssa Rochelle Payne

Alyssa Rochelle Payne

Staff Writer

Alyssa is great at saving NPCs from dragons. Then she writes about it.

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