Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition Game Poster Image
Frenzied football fun on a violent, trap-filled gridiron.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No such thing as good sportsmanship here. Dirty tricks are as much part of game as first downs or quarterback sacks. In fact, one way to win is to kill enough players on the other team to force a win by forfeit.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No teams or players would ever be remotely mistaken for role models. These creatures are baddest of the bad, foulest of the foul. They lie, cheat, curse, beat their way through game ... and that's just the referees. Players are even worse.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn, with just enough tweaks, extras to add some variety. Playing against AI can be tough and dealing with dirty tricks can get frustrating, but it's never enough to take away from the fun.

Violence

Features over-the-top violence, complete with plenty of gratuitous blood and gore, against all manner of monsters, mutants, aliens. Players beat each other up during and after plays. They also use weapons to bludgeon or decapitate opposing team, and even use traps to blow up other team. The level of blood and gore can be adjusted or turned off in game options.

Sex

Some of game's commentary and dialogue make use of sexually suggestive humor.

Language

No shortage of profanity, with "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole" appearing frequently. This can be turned off in game options, though.

Consumerism

Spiritual successor to classic Mutant League sports franchise for Sega Genesis, which had spawned a series of sports games, and even an animated series in its heyday.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While no actual drug use is shown, There's plenty of drug references in commentary. Over course of a match, players can expect to hear occasional references to just about every illicit drug known to man (or ogre).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition is an action/sports game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. This is an arcade-style football game, with basic controls that are relatively easy to pick up and play, but unique twists on traditional gameplay can be frustrating at times. It features over-the-top violence and profanity-laced commentary in an extreme fantasy/sci-fi parody of American football, though both the violence and gore and profanity can be adjusted in the game's settings. The running commentary and one-liners includes some crass jokes related to drug use and sexual content, and since they don't necessarily include profanity, they can occasionally slip through regardless of the in-game settings.

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What's it about?

The gridiron becomes the meat grinder in MUTANT FOOTBALL LEAGUE: DYNASTY EDITION, the spiritual successor to the 1993 Sega Genesis classic, Mutant League Football. There's no such thing as "unnecessary roughness" in this world where 24 teams of monsters, undead, and yes, even aliens, face off in brutal 7-on-7 football action. Sporting behavior goes out the window too, as players can bribe the ref to swing momentum in their favor or use any number of other dirty tricks to electrocute, decapitate, or otherwise dismember the other team. Getting outscored by the opposition? Who needs a mercy rule when you can just kill off enough players to force a forfeit? Home field advantage takes on a whole new meaning when even the field itself is littered with landmines, pitfalls, and other assorted booby traps. The Dynasty Edition adds lots of new content, such as  werewolves, demons, six new teams and arenas, and new dirty tricks to mess with your opponent. It also offers a Dynasty mode, where players take on the role of the coach and GM, balancing your team's salary cap and player trades. The goal here is to build a team from a losing franchise into a multiple Mayhem Bowl winning organization that's the envy of the league. Football has never been more deadly ... or more fun.

Is it any good?

"Full contact sports" takes on a whole new meaning when you're dealing with booby traps and bloodthirsty creatures itching to win at any cost. At least, that's the premise behind the over-the-top, postapocalyptic arcade football game Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition. Right off the bat, it needs to be said that this isn't exactly a wholesome, family-friendly take on football night. At its default settings, the game features more profanity, lewd jokes, and bloody violence than a cheesy '80s horror flick. That being said, most of the mature content can be either muted or cranked up to 11 in the game's settings. Of course, even on the lower maturity settings, it's still going to be more gladiatorial than gridiron.

No matter which way you choose to watch the action in Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition, you're in for a fast-paced and fun arcade experience. With a reduced 7-on-7 lineup, the pace of the game is nonstop. The controls are straightforward and effective, and working the field is relatively easy, especially with the newly included custom playbooks to fit your personal offensive or defensive schemes. The one drawback is that your AI teammates sometimes charge blindly into traps and hazards, especially during big plays. There's nothing more frustrating than running down the field for a touchdown, only to learn four of your players are six feet under. But this can happen on both sides of the match, so it generally balances out. The same thing applies to the game's various dirty tricks. These game-changing plays can drive you nuts when they're used against you, but you can't help relishing when you successfully pull one off for your team. Even better now is the inclusion of a Dynasty mode, giving you the reins of your team as you try to build a misfit bunch of monsters into a multiple year contender for the Mayhem Bowl. That means signing free agents, balancing your salary cap with resurrecting dead players or boosting their stats, and trading players that just don't hold their weight. It works very well, and adds so much more depth to the gameplay. As insane, as brutal, and as dirty as Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition can be, it's still surprisingly balanced and just a heck of a lot of fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. What is the impact of over-the-top violence in some games like Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition, and why is it good to give players the option to adjust the level of violence and profanity, either up or down?

  • Talk about competition and sporting behavior. What are some positive ways to foster friendly competition and fair play? Why is it important to follow the rules and play well with others?

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