Mullet Mad Jack steam next fest demo

Roguish FPS Mullet Mad Jack demands you kill every 10 seconds or die

Kill fast or die trying.

Boomer shooters, retro FPS games, whatever you want to call them. They’re popular on Steam, and for a good reason: they’re loads of fun. But what if you stepped back into a classic ’80s and early ’90s anime, with big guns and an even bigger need for speed?

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In Mullet Mad Jack, the gunplay will feel familiar but other mechanics are very unique. Hammer95 Studios’ heart-pounding and action-packed roguelike shooter had a demo as a part of Steam Next Fest, and it catapulted its way into my heart and onto my wishlist.

The 10-second kill timer is terrifying

Mullet Mad Jack screenshots

The best part of Mullet Mad Jack might be the story. There’s a perfectly good explanation for why you’ll die if you don’t get kills: your viewers will be angry. You’re live-streaming yourself the entire time, and you literally live for likes. When viewers are bored (you’re not getting enough kills), they stop giving you likes, and it kills you.

If getting a kill every 10 seconds sounds challenging, there are different difficulty levels to choose from. Each option changes the number of seconds you can survive without a kill, which maxes out at 15. I found 10 seconds to be very doable, though it was tough at times through the first 20 floors.

Your character holds a phone in his left hand the entire time displaying how much time you have left. Watching the time tick down as you attempt to find a new enemy to kill is nerve-wracking and had me out of breath. Fans of Neon White might enjoy the speed combined with over-the-top action.

Madness, music, and a mullet

Mullet Mad Jack upgrades screenshot

In Mullet Mad Jack, you play as—you guessed it— Mad Jack, who must rescue a popular influencer from a corporate billionaire high in a tower. Each floor is a level to complete as quickly as possible, and they’re quite short. Most floors can be finished in 30 seconds to a minute.

Each floor is super fun and satisfying, and I sense speedrunning in this game’s future, which will really get the blood pumping. Upon completing each floor, you’re offered a few options for upgrades, which is where the roguelike elements come in. You can choose from new weapons, abilities, and upgrades for what you already have. Options range from a flaming katana that’s also throwable to a massive damage boost immediately following kicking an enemy.

Speaking of kicking, it’s a huge part of the game. Regardless of which weapon you’re using, you can always kick enemies. There are strategically-placed hazards like industrial-sized fans and walls of electricity so you can one-shot enemies into them with your feet. Kick, throw a katana, blow stuff up, and jam out to ’80s-inspired music the entire time. Is there anything better?

Billionaire bosses must die

After finishing 10 floors, you’ll get to murder a corporate billionaire. Don’t worry, there are thousands of them that will keep running off with the influencer princess. Each time you kill one, they’ll tell you the princess is on another floor (sound familiar?). Your run will continue and Mad Jack will continue doing what he does best: entertaining millions.

During boss fights, you don’t have to worry about keeping your kill timer active. Conveniently, your live stream drops out, and losing those viewers also means you don’t need to constantly earn kills. What a shame, no one will be there to clip it when you take out another billionaire.

With over-the-top action and loads of replayability, what’s here of Mullet Mad Jack is enough to keep me entertained for a little while. The limited demo content left me wanting more, but it looks like I’ll have to wait. An official release date has not been announced, but developer Hammer95 says it’s “coming soon” on the Steam page.


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Author
Tim Harding
Tim has been playing games for over 25 years and tries to play as many as possible to completion. From FPS games, survival horror, RPGs, and platformers to soulslikes, he likes to dabble in everything. He's also played every Call of Duty title since Call of Duty 2 came out in 2005. His favorite games of all time include Banjo-Kazooie, Gun Star Heroes, Bioshock, God of War Ragnarok, and far too many more to choose.