Flashback Product of the Week: 1993 Electronic Arts Mutant League Football

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An apocalypse is no excuse for that football game to go unplayed.  That’s what the people at Electronic Arts thought when they decided to release Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis in 1993.

As you can tell from the box art, this is not your typical lifelike football simulation.  Radiation has caused humans to mutate, and the dead are rising from the grave.  The reason for the post-apocalyptic environment hasn’t officially been explained.  According to the instruction manual, the reasons were lost do to an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system setup by a temp, and/or BBQ sauce.  The investigation continues to this very day.

Playing fields can be made of rubber, toxic waste, ice, and rock.  You’ll find many hazards on these fields that you certainly won’t find on any normal gridiron.  Examples of some of these hazards include fire pits, landmines, and you can even fly off into outer space.  If members of your team hit any of these hazards they can easily lose health or even die.  If they die while carrying the ball, don’t look for any sympathy.  The opposing team will just pickup the ball as if it were a normal fumble.  Each team has what they call Nasty Audibles too.  These involve using items such as jet packs, electric shocks, invisibility, and even exploding footballs to intentionally hurt players on the other team.  You can even attack the quarterback with the intent to kill.  If you eliminate enough players, the opposing team has to forfeit.  One of the most popular things you can do is bribe the referee.  You can do this twice per game.  A bribed referee will make fake calls.  This doesn’t last very long.  As soon as the first fake call is made, the other team usually kills that ref.

With all of this violence and additional features, I bet your thinking this game probably sucks when it comes to playing real football.  That’s not the case at all.  Mutant League Football was designed using the Madden ’93 engine.  Its hard to find a game that has a good balance of comical violence, yet retains that excellent football game play.  Lots of times one takes over the other.

Inside each copy of the game you’ll find two trading cards.  They aren’t worth much today, but its cool to see cards included within a video game.  Copies are readily available for sale.  Sealed versions can reach up to $70.00.  Used ones with the game only are much cheaper at around $10-$20.  There were a few spin-offs.  They made Mutant League Hockey, and there was a Mutant League Basketball game in the works but it never saw the light of day.

I believe Tim Rossovich and Lyle Alzado would’ve done well in this league if it had existed in the real world.  Bill Belichick has been using this game as a playbook for years.

Oh ya!  If you play this game on full-season mode and end up winning the championship, the losing team spontaneously explodes.

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