Back in 1993, Electronic Arts decided to take a chance and open up the football market for something other than John Madden Football. Designed around the Madden '93 game engine, Mutant League Football introduced fantasy players and gruesome violence to traditional Madden-style football gameplay. The first "Mutant League" game, a later followup was released in Mutant League Hockey. Mutant League Football was released for the PlayStation Portable as part of the EA Replay compilation in 2006, adding the ability to play wireless multiplayer.
Most notably the setting, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where radiation has caused humans to mutate and the dead to rise from the grave(although it offers no explanation for fantasy elements like skeletons and trolls, but who cares!). The instruction booklet states that the exact reasons for human upheaval were "lost or corrupted due to, (among other things), the chaos of an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system set up by a temp, and what appears to be barbecue sauce".
Mutant League Football featured both single and multiplayer gameplay across multiple modes. "Single Game" allowed for exhibition games against human opponents or AI. "Playoffs" was designed so players could select one of the teams and take part in a 16-team playoff series, with a password-backup system allowing for playoffs to be continued mid-season. "Practice" mode offered the ability to run offensive plays without a defensive team in order to hone gameplay skills.
Mutant League Football featured an adjustable pre-game setting known as the "Death Index." Modifying the level of damage inflicted in the game, the Death Index is essentially a difficulty setting, with higher settings increasing the likelihood of player injuries and deaths. Games are won by forfeit when one team does not have enough players to continue.
The playing fields consisted of many different ground types: Ice, Grass, Rock, Toxic Waste, or Rubber. The fields are also littered with traps such as, pits that drop into fire, or open space, landmines, and others.
Each team had unique "Nasty Audibles" plays that ended up killing, or hurting members of the other team in some way, they ranged from "Confusion"(reverse controlled for the opposing team), to throwing exploding balls. Each team could also Bribe The Ref twice a game to make him call penalties on the other team, this would go on for a few plays, or until the player called the "kill the ref" play, causing the whole team to tackle the ref until he exploded. This would cause the ref to be replaced with a "tougher" one, who would then call a 5-yard "Ref Bashing" penalty on the attacking team.
Teams consisted of Aliens, skeletons, trolls, robots and superhumans. Each team fields 7 players instead of the usual 11. Some team names and player names were humorous parodies if real team and player names. Some examples of the player names were Bones Jackson (play on the fact that he is a skeleton, and also, Bo Jackson), and Scary Ice (Jerry Rice).
List Of Team Names (and parodies where appropriate)
- Darkstar Dragons (San Francisco 49ers)
- Killer Konvicts (Dallas Cowboys)
- Misfit Demons (Miami Dolphins)
- Psycho Slashers (Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Screaming Evils (Philadelphia Eagles)
- Slaycity Slayers (Seattle Seahawks)
- Terminator Tollz
- Turbo Techies
- Deathskin Razors (Oakland Raiders)
- Icebay Bashers (Green Bay Packers)
- Midway Monsters (Chicago Bears)
- Rad Rockers (New York Giants)
- Road Warriors (Washington Redskins)
- Sixty Whiners (the name is a parody of the 49ers but none of the player names are)
- Vile Vulgars (Minnesota Vikings)
- War Slammers
The Game also contained 3 all-star teams, one for each conference, and "Galaxy All-Stars" containing the best players in the league.
- Originally there were plans for a 3rd "Mutant League" game, Mutant League Basketball.
- Madden NFL '09 features an achievement entitled "Midway Monster," which awards 50 gamerscore points when a player named "Bones Jackson" is created and placed on the Chicago Bears team.
Electronic Gaming Monthly issued the scores of 6,7,6,7 adding, "...a fun game with action like you've never seen before. Killer plays like bashing the referee and killing opponents is just part of the fun. The play book is huge and contains some really unique ones...the game is more fun with two players".