Planet M.U.L.E.

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Written by World of M.U.L.E. Guest Author: Karawane
To discuss this version of M.U.L.E., please use this topic in the WoM forum.

Introduction

„Planet M.U.L.E.“ is the official remake of M.U.L.E. for modern computers. It reproduces the original gameplay on Windows, Linux and MacOS machines with upgraded graphics and sound. It was developed in 2009 by the Swedish studio Turborilla and published by Blue Systems. The biggest benefit of this version is its adaptation to online play via internet. For that purpose, the publisher does not only provide the game client but also runs an online infrastructure with master game server, ranking list and user forum. Best of all, the client and the infrastructure are offered completely for free.

Insights from the development team

to be done

How to play this game today

You can download a suitable version of the client from the official webpage of Planet M.U.L.E. In order to play, you first need to register a player‘s name on the same webpage. Offline play is possible, but only against computer opponents. Hence, this is not a couch multiplayer game (unless everybody keeps an individual laptop).

The different clients are moderately well maintained. Occasionally, there are issues with recent Java versions. Sometimes, it is best to download an older version and run it in compatibility mode. Fortunately, most issues are listed and solved in the corresponding forum.

Unfortunately, there is no native joystick support for Planet M.U.L.E. So, you need to map the joystick commands to the keyboard if you want to play like in the old days. On MacOS, you can configure this in the system information app. For Windows and Linux, you need an additional program, e.g. AntiMicro or JoyToKey.

Gameplay & gameplay comparison with Atari/Commodore M.U.L.E.

The gameplay is very faithful to the original M.U.L.E. As familiar, there are four planeteers landing on the planet Irata trying to become the richest player within 6 or 12 months. In this version, however, there is no mode without Crystite. Another noticeable difference is that you choose your species when you register on the website. You cannot change it from the client when joining a new game. Therefore, most players tend to stick to their firstly chosen species forever.

The user interface looks updated and is a little sleeker and more forgiving than the original. You can (re)install M.U.L.E.s by almost „throwing“ them onto a plot after barely entering the perimeter. It is hard to lose a M.U.L.E. by accident, but not impossible. Furthermore, you do not need to take back a soil sample to the assay office. The assay droid probes it directly on location.

The mountain wampus is easily catchable. The store offers a third and a fourth exit to the top and the bottom making it more relaxed to outfit three plots per turn if skillfully utilised. Mountains do not move when the planetquake occurs, something I have complained a lot about when playing the original Atari version.

The computer players seem to act a little smarter. At least, they try the smithore rush and frequently catch the wampus. Still, they are reasonably beatable for a human player.

A nice gain is the ranking list and the community forum outside the actual games. It helps new players to more easily access the game and offers interesting information around the game, first of all, detailed explanations and evaluations of the game mechanisms.

Summarised, Planet M.U.L.E. is a very good adaptation of the original and the version of choice for playing the game online.

Reception

The game has generally received favourable reviews and is offered on many download sites, most notably on websites of big gaming magazines. There is still a vivid community playing it online, though, attendance is slowly fading after more than 10 years of availability.

Trivia

to be done

Downloads, Galleries and Hyperlinks

Downloads: https://www.planetmule.com

Box art gallery:

Screenshot gallery:

Hyperlinks: