The acclaimed Mutazione finally launches on Xbox and Switch today, after winning hearts and growing gardens on the PC, PS4 and Apple Arcade.
There’s every chance that you haven’t heard of Mutazione. It’s not big-budget or stacked with explosions: this is a laid-back journey, where forming relationships and tending your garden is more important than accumulating wealth or experience. It’s weaved a spell on the people who found it last year, and appeared on a number of Best of 2020 lists.
You play as Kai, a young student who has lived her entire life with her mother, Gaia. But one morning a letter arrives from Kai’s estranged grandfather, Nonno, and he is dying. He asks for Kai to visit, and so you begin the journey to the island where he lives, called Mutazione.
There’s a hefty dose of magic-realism here, as Mutazione is full of mutants. Not the spandex and adamantium-claw kind, but people, creatures and plants that have changed over time, after a meteorite upset their ecosystem. What is lovely is that Mutazione and Kia don’t call out the differences too often or make big deals of them: this is an unusual community, and it doesn’t go any further than that.
As the story develops, you will understand why Nonni and Gaia fell out, why Gaia moved away, and what Nonni wants you for. It involves the growing and nurturing of a garden, or series of gardens, and the harvesting of rare and unusual fruits. Often, you will be called on to perform music to help the plants along. This nurturing runs alongside a series of quaint family dramas on the island, as you can opt to listen to and help the various characters.
Throughout, you have a watercolour aesthetic and some lovely character designs, all rendered on Adobe Illustrator. This is a place you will want to spend time in, a game you will want to savour rather than rush through, and it has the ability to be unsettling in periods. We’re aiming to get a review in your hands soon, but this is already looking a little bit special.
- • A lush, hand-illustrated world to explore
- • Ensemble cast of loveable mutant characters
- • A story with unpredictable dramatic twists and turns
- • Gardens to customize for unique relaxing musical soundscapes
- • Seed sharing – send and receive rare and unusual seeds with your friends
Mutazione is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £16.74 from the Xbox Store. It also launches today on Switch, but can also be found on PS4, PS5 and PC.
MUTAZIONE is an adventure game where the juicy personal drama is just as important as the high-stakes adventure part of the story. Explore the community as 15-year-old Kai as she travels to the strange and secretive community of Mutazione to care for her ailing grandfather, Nonno. Make new friends; plant musical gardens; attend BBQs, band nights and boat trips; and embark on a final spiritual journey to save everyone from the strange darkness at the heart of it all.