User Score
7.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 57
  2. Negative: 12 out of 57

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  1. Jun 27, 2014
    10
    An amazing game. People who think this has bad controls are crazy. It just has a characteristic jump, is all. The unique jump is used for puzzles and is very easy once you get used to it. Just like Castlevania's and Super Metroid's (and Ghosts 'n' Goblins') slightly awkward jump, it really does not diminish from gameplay - it just makes it different.

    Everything about this game is
    amazingly designed. Great controls, great music, great graphics, and most of all, the puzzles. This game has an amazing sense of explorations, paralleled by none (except maybe Super Metroid) and it has a very unique style of environmental puzzle solving.

    I really don't want to waffle on too much at the moment, but suffice to say I think this is probably one of the pinnacles of game design as it currently exists. Must play. Requires a bit of patience, sure, but truly a must play.
    Expand
  2. May 26, 2014
    6
    This is a very hard indie game. The core mechanics are similar to Metroid or recent Castlevania games - you explore huge ruins with various types of (boss-) enemies and puzzles in them. The controls are good and responsive, if you come from pure jump and run games then the jumping mechanics will require getting used to however as you cannot change the direction in midair. Also the attacks with the main weapons all require some time to execute (the whip moves behind the head first before lashing forward, etc.). This makes a few portions of the game very hard and the bosses even harder, it's not really a problem though as it is usually your own fault for getting hit. Running around, exploring the map and killing enemies is fun.
    The reason for this low rating is the rest. The game is littered with bad design decisions. They were all done this way on purpose (as the game is a remake of a game that was created to be as close to a classic MSX game as possible), but that doesn't mean that they aren't bad. There are a lot of tablets all around the ruins that can (and HAVE TO) be read to figure out the huge amount of puzzles in this game. The problem is that they are just a bit too cryptic at times or the tablet with the required hint is on the exact opposite part of the ruins, requiring you to waste countless hours running randomly through the ruins in search for clues (if they're not too cryptic). Then there are random walls that are destructible but without any indication.
    To give a few examples: One key item requires you to destroy such a wall. Nothing (not even a single tablet or any dialogue) hints you where it is - you just have to try to hit all walls and hope that there's an effect. Another path is blocked off with a destructible wall, but you don't know it from the way the room is designed. Also there is an "eye of divine retribution" in the room, an object that will zap you if you hit certain things in the room (except for that breakable wall) - nobody in their right mind would think about randomly hitting things in this room.
    There is a LOT of **** like this in the game. The only way to not be completely lost is to follow the advice given in the tutorial video (which is inside the installed game's directory): Write down EVERYTHING! Every single tablet inscription, every single thing that you couldn't figure out at the moment, the symbols for the areas, symbols that appear somewhere else - the list goes on and on.
    Or just watch a Longplay of it.

    I bought it for 10 bucks, but unless you're really masochistic and ready for unfair puzzles you shouldn't pay that much. Wait until it gets cheaper or don't buy it at all.
    Expand
  3. May 17, 2014
    0
    This is not the game I was searching for. I've noticed it after only a few seconds of play. Yet I've decided to give it a try; since it seemed interesting and original. First problem I've run into: the controls. They don't just lag; they are DESIGNED to be that way. Second problem I've run into: the game design, the level design, and the gameplay programming is horribad. I have to say that I stopped playing the game before discovering that the tutorial for the game is actually available in the form of a steam store video. If that tutorial had been displayed before the game instead of via a totally unrelated channel, it might have changed my experience drastically. But it wasn't the case. Now I don't want to play it, I just regret having bought it. And I write this for you to not make the same mistake. Expand
  4. Jan 23, 2014
    2
    One of the best terrible games I've ever played. It's got great artwork, fun (though repetitive and quickly irritating) music, and a nice nostalgic feel to it, but the gampelay is gimped by ridiculously antiquated concepts like infinitely respawning enemies, severe backwards recoil when hit, and worst of all, no mid-air motion. If you fall through a trap door, your controls are locked until you hit the ground. Honestly, I wanted to like this game. It's so charming it's almost difficult not to. But after the millionth time I failed to beat a boss that would have been easy if not for the rocks that fall and knock you back a quarter of the screen, I couldn't deal with it anymore. I wish the game followed its own advice and made me jump in my seat, instead of making me lean forward in my seat to turn it off. Expand
  5. Jan 21, 2014
    2
    The game understands that challenge can be fun, but unfortunately makes the mistake of thinking that frustration = challenge. Having to deal with death traps that cannot be escaped and kill you slowly, and puzzles that are obscure at best, is not a way to have a good time.

    On the bright side, the music and atmosphere are great, so you'll at least hear some decent tunes while you try to
    find out how to get your money back. Expand
  6. Jan 21, 2014
    2
    This is not a good game.
    I bought it because it seems like spelunky and because of its high meta score,
    but I regret it.
    Difficult and boring.
    Not recommended.
  7. Dec 22, 2013
    0
    Oh look, another bad game where metacritic manchildren show their hard on for anything indie made.

    It's not that hard, in theory- but the controls are bad. Yes, yes, we get it- on the NES, the controls were generally terrible and that resulted in many of the games being insanely hard. But even Super Mario 3 managed to get out of that rut by the end of the console's lifespan.

    Now, if
    you appreciate playing a game that could have come out on the NES- by all means, you'll probably like it. Just be wary that this isn't just NES challenging, but has most of the things about NES that were bad too- like controls.

    If you're looking for something like Super Metroid- this isn't the place. I love Super Metroid, it's one of the best games ever made- this game is utter garbage, and nothing like it.
    Expand
  8. Nov 29, 2013
    10
    A quality game all around. Epic 16 bit music that will make nostalgia Nintendo Generation people rock out to the midi-esque goodness. Easy enough to allow you to learn from your mistakes but hard enough to provide some head-scratching entertainment as you attempt to solve it's many puzzles. Not a game that is hard enough to throw your controller against a wall, but not so easy as to bore you to tears.

    It's a great little title with an excellent feel, some historical & educational content, and a great concept. It is best summed up as the type of challenging game that makes you want to look up a walkthrough or a FAQ for help, but your inner gamer niggles at you saying "Na, dude. You don't need to do that. Figure it out on your own! You know you can do it."

    Indiana Jones meets Mega Man with a puzzle-ridden twist. Shades of CastleVania as well. A great buy on a steam sale near you. $3 very well spent.
    Expand
  9. Oct 26, 2013
    0
    I absolutely hate this game. It's so bad! People call it "hard", but it's really just badly designed and forces you to make up for its bad design. It lacks a real intuitiveness and become repetitive really quickly. Music drags on. If you're looking for the next Castlevania, then don't look here. Keep on looking!

    I picked this up based on the scores thinking this would at least be okay
    since more often than not games that get higher scores are games that I like but this just feels like a big lie. Expand
  10. Sep 24, 2013
    1
    Unplayable controls. Movements easily lag a half second behind inputs. In midair it's even worse. Can't jump onto OR off of ladders. Can only attack directly in front of you. I'm all for difficult games but not when the difficulty stems from not being able to move your character properly.
  11. Sep 16, 2013
    0
    Just garbage. I really wanted to like it; I walked in expecting Dark Souls level difficulty, and I love a challenge. The only thing that makes this game hard are the TERRIBLE controls. No mid-air movement, aside from when you've reached the top of your jump and are falling, massive knockback which will reload a screen and respawn all enemies. It's just a platformer with horrible controls that people seem to be touting as difficult. I spent all day doing super meat boy's last stage in the dark world; La Mulana isn't hard, it's just bad. Expand
  12. Sep 14, 2013
    9
    I knew this game was big going in, but the depth is astounding. What really blew me away was the scope and complexity, which is not immediately obvious.

    On the surface it plays a bit like Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night, but it quickly starts to feel more like Dark Souls. It is difficult, but like most hardcore platformers the difficulty can be overcome by sheer persistence.
    That's almost a moot point.

    Where it really shines is structure. La-Mulana is deceptively complex, and it's a constant joy discovering how much of the game there actually is. You'll get your money's worth before you're 25% done with the game.
    Expand
  13. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    This game is hard.

    This game is very, very hard and this aspect makes for the foundation of La-Mulana. In an era flooded with 'quest arrows' and 'quick time events' this little gem of a platformer manages to defy the trends and pay homage to games long gone, where the player was supposed to plan ahead and explore with his biggest assets: his own memory, intellect and reflexes.

    If
    you play (and) rate La-Mulana for what it is, then it's impossible to not give it a perfect score. Expand
  14. Jul 1, 2013
    9
    One of the best games I've ever played. Despite it being on of my now favorite games of all time list, it isn't perfect. It's also definitely not for everyone. The Good: Amazing music, great art-style, unique puzzles, awesome boss fights. The Bad: weird hit-boxes on enemies/bosses, jumping mechanics feel terrible, getting knocked off of platforms by bats millions of times, and a few obtuse puzzles. To play this game you will either need to take notes (in real life!), take screenshots, or have an amazing memory. In my playthrough, I had 15 pages of notes. After finishing the game and deleting notes I didn't need anymore, I still had 4 pages left of notes where I didn't know what hint was for what puzzle. Bad translation or wording maybe? I even checked a walkthrough after and couldn't make sense of it. Despite being stuck, resist all temptation to use a walkthrough. The game will take you 20-30 hours with guide assistance, and anywhere between 50-100 hours blind. The satisfaction of beating it blind is incredible. There aren't any other games like this, so I highly recommend playing it blind. There is no repeat value to puzzle games so this is your one chance to cherish it. When I looked up the solution to some puzzles, I regretted it instantly. Still... I will admit some puzzles are complete BS and just require you to walk around for hours. My advice: enter this game knowing you will not beat is over the weekend. Be an archaeologist. Be methodical, be patient, take notes on everything, and keep an open mind. Expand
  15. Jun 30, 2013
    10
    When you start your game, there is text that says "I finally made it to LA-MULANA, the adventure starts here!", which is incredibly accurate. This game will engross you and send you on one of the biggest (and hardest) metroidvania adventures available. You will die, get stuck on a puzzle, and become annoyed many times, but you will be motivated to figure it out and when you do you will be proud and happy. The art is amazing, with set pieces that are only used once at every turn, tons of characters, a moving story (if you pay attention), a unique buff system, usable items, main weapons, sub-weapons, and items, and a three album long soundtrack of great tunes. Nine giant main bosses and around forty mini-bosses (not counting those in the super-challenging bonus dungeon!) will kill you hourly in this forty hour long experience. Even when you have beaten the main game once there are still the challenges of a Hardmode game, getting all the characters in the ending sequence, speedrunning (some people have trimmed this game down to an hour and a half!), the bonus dungeon, and getting good times in Time Attack mode (a boss rush sort of thing). Even then there are the extra challenging steam achievements!
    More of a stress to the challenge- You will have to take detailed notes of what the NPC's and hint tablets say (probably in a notebook so that you do not cover your house with sticky notes). You should both read the manual (available on the website) and watch the introductory video before playing. You will be confused as to where to go a good portion of the game. If you decide to fight a boss without being prepared it could take forty tries. There are a multitude of instant death traps and some bosses with instant death attacks, There are many minor annoyances (dropping through the trap door onto the spikes for the fifth time in a row) that will make you put your hand on your face, but it is still absolutely worth it to hear the puzzle solved chime or see the main character do his victory dance.
    Expand
  16. Apr 19, 2013
    8
    La-Mulana is indeed a very hardcore platformer. Puzzles are hard and some of them might never open up for you without the help of walkthroughs and youtube videos. But that's ok, because La-Mulana wants to be cruel. The game begins in a village where you get a laptop to receive tips from an old man. That's where the "handholding" ends. You may go towards which ever direction you desire and die there. Because you will die like in roguelike games again and again. There are traps, different enemies, poisonous water, certain room conditions that refrain you from using your whip for example. These add to the old Megaman factor that if you take a hit you will be sent flying backwards and may fall off a cliff getting yourself into even more trouble. The controls feel a bit stiff in the beginning but you will get used to them pretty quickly and understand it when the level layout presents you why jumping works as it does. If you enjoy platformer games like Mario and other easy going and simple games you should avoid this. La-Mulana is more like a Super Meatboy with bosses, equipment, very hard puzzles and riddles, and you have to save often to avoid losing all your progress in case of dying. It's also worth to note that I think it could be completely ok for not-so-hc players to enjoy this masochistic adventure by using the fore-mentioned walkthroughs and play it just for the brilliant sights, music and story. I give this game an 8 because it's probably just too much for the faint-of-heart. You're warned. Collapse
  17. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    As others have said this game is Hard. Any person who is used to the typical hand holding game of today's age will be unable to handle this game. The puzzle clues are cryptic and the user will have to learn a new culture and language very slowly as they divulge deeper into the depths of the ancient ruins. The difficulty is capable of being made even more brutal through an optional hard mode for the truly masochistic. It has been many years since I played a game as challenging, engaging, and rewarding as this game. Easily my favorite game of this decade. Expand
  18. Oct 4, 2012
    9
    This game doesn't care at all about the player feelings, it's harsh, punishing and unwelcoming. I won't lie to you, the beginning is the real obstacle; you'll probably need to remap keys to your liking, you have to be extremely attentive not to miss vital items, Windows 7 user will need to run this game as admin. Once you get into it though, it's a complete masterpiece; the world is various and gorgeous, filled of tons of secret passages, enemies, traps, bosses, equipments, scenarios and, most importantly, puzzles. A ton of backtracking will be required, your mind will be clouded with a ton of hints to uncover misteries. This is exactly everything I look for in a game, to feel like a small entity and to challenge an huge world ready to jump on you at every minimum mistake. Just don't make the mistake to skip it because you may think this is the n-th retro platformer you have grown bored of, because I'll assure you that if you found the trailer appealing, you'll be satisfied by it. It may not be perfect in how it handles every single event (though the great majority of them are extremely fair), but I'm just happy to see that, for once, a game is proud to mishandle the player. Expand
  19. Aug 19, 2012
    10
    The game is hard, obtuse, yet immensely satisfying when you finally beat it. Absolutely not for everyone, but it is exactly what it was designed to be.
  20. Apr 19, 2013
    0
    La-Mulana is indeed a very hardcore platformer. Puzzles are hard and some of them might never open up for you without the help of walkthroughs and youtube videos. But that's ok, because La-Mulana wants to be cruel. The game begins in a village where you get a laptop to receive tips from an old man. That's where the "handholding" ends. You may go towards which ever direction you desire and die there. Because you will die like in roguelike games again and again. There are traps, different enemies, poisonous water, certain room conditions that refrain you from using your whip for example. These add to the old Megaman factor that if you take a hit you will be sent flying backwards and may fall off a cliff getting yourself into even more trouble. The controls feel a bit stiff in the beginning but you will get used to them pretty quickly and understand it when the level layout presents you why jumping works as it does. If you enjoy platformer games like Mario and other easy going and simple games you should avoid this. La-Mulana is more like a Super Meatboy with bosses, equipment, very hard puzzles and riddles, and you have to save often to avoid losing all your progress in case of dying. It's also worth to note that I think it could be completely ok for not-so-hc players to enjoy this masochistic adventure by using the fore-mentioned walkthroughs and play it just for the brilliant sights, music and story. I give this game an 8 because it's probably just too much for the faint-of-heart. You're warned. Collapse
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Apr 29, 2013
    60
    La-Mulana won't appeal to the more casual players. Instead, it's for those who are masochistic with a fondness for 'Metroidvania' games - but even then, a high level of patience is required to get the most enjoyment out of this indie title.
  2. Apr 18, 2013
    82
    La-Mulana is a brilliant title. Pure gameplay based on exploration and old-school action.
  3. Nov 15, 2012
    84
    An extremely well thought-out metroidvania. While its fiendishly obscure puzzles are a source of endless frustration, hardcore fans of the genre are in for a treat. For others it may border on the unbeatable, so best prepare well! [Nov 2012]