Blast from the Past

‘Mud and Blood 2’ is still very playable years later

A long time ago, when I did not own a computer, a console or even a flip phone, I had my dad’s laptop (when he allowed me to play on it, of course).

I scoured the internet for every single free-to-play tower defense and strategy game it contained. I remember I found quite a few that were really fun, but the one that I can still remember is “Mud and Blood 2” at created by a user named “urbz.”

“Mud and Blood 2” is a top-down 2D World War II flash game from the year 2008, a few years before 2011 when flash games hit their peak in both being created and played. “Mud and Blood 2,” to me at least, was ahead of its time.

Like many of the strategy games in this era, “Mud and Blood 2” is a tower defense game, but with a twist. The towers do not stand still and take the form of American and German forces. Playing as the Americans, your task is to hold your ground against the German onslaught. The only advantage the Americans have that the Germans do not is that the Americans get to sit tight and wait for them to come into range.

This game is very complicated for what it was built from. There are 24 different deployable units, 11 tactical orders that can be used, 15 different upgrades for troops and vehicles and 17 buildings that can be constructed to make units last longer. With all of this, there are also care packages that randomly drop. Some of these packages contain soldiers, tactical points or the all-important spoons and boxes.

All these things work together. For instance, you cannot use a tactical order if you do not have an officer and a signaler. You cannot construct buildings if you do not have a combat engineer near the area you want to place a structure. You cannot upgrade a tank if you don’t have a tank (duh).

If you can get a solid defense going with a variety of units and upgrades, you might be able to last a few more seconds in this difficult game. The difficulty is one of the features I like most about this game.

By difficulty, I mean completely random and uncontrollable events occurring. And by random events, I mean the potential for the Germans to bring in tanks on the second or third wave before you even have a decent defensive line or your own soldiers throwing a grenade at an ally. The randomness of this game makes it truly replayable. There is no certainty of what is going to come next. You could be hit with lines of Tiger tanks, which will obliterate you, or just small infantry waves, which can give you time to set up more defenses.

While this is a brutal war game, it is not without its fun quirks and gameplay moments. Here are the two of the top comments on the game’s webpage. “4 years of playing this game and I still don’t get how a tank or artillery piece can shoot underneath itself,” user “dogydoggydogface” commented. Another good one is from user “insanity408”: “That depressing moment when you noticed the soldier with highest rifle skill in your squad is a medic.” This comment is quite funny considering that medics are the only units in the game that cannot use or carry a weapon.

“Mud and Blood 2” is still a fun and interesting game that I find myself coming back to from time to time. It is free, runs well on even the lowest of system specs and it is easy to pick up. I have had many great times with this game, and I believe I shall have more in the future. So, stick to your defenses, trust your friends and hold the line.

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