If your game focuses on an ensemble cast of relatable characters and their small-town conflicts and dramas, don’t be surprised when you hear players ask for more. As the Community Manager for Mutazione, I’ve seen countless heartfelt requests for Mutazione’s story to continue. Players want DLC. They want a sequel. They want a trilogy! Since day one, it was always in the works to publish an update focused on the characters and their stories. The Penpal Update does precisely that, though it might surprise players in precisely how.
Even in the tagline for Mutazione (“They can survive an apocalyptic meteor strike, but can they survive their small-town drama?”) there’s that acknowledgement of drama and stakes. Sure – there’s an aspect of conflict that’s earth-shattering, as players unravel the mystery behind the ailing Papu Tree, but most of the game’s conflicts are interpersonal. Unrequited love. Personal trauma. Broken familial bonds. As Kai makes friends, learns secrets, and helps these characters solve each of those conflicts, our bonds with those characters deepen.
This makes the Penpal Update a little unique because it’s not about conflict or drama. It’s not a sequel – it’s an epilogue. It doesn’t continue the story of Mutazione, but rather puts a bow on it. Some players might be a little disappointed by this. There are plenty of plot threads at the end of the game that could spiral out into more conflict, more drama, and more story for Kai to come back to the island and resolve. But the Penpal update’s focus is on the other end of that spectrum.
Kai saves Mutazione. Without going into any specific spoilers, Kai helping the good people in Mutazione resolve their conflicts is such a huge part of why the game is beloved. It’s almost like a friendship simulator, where your friends come to you with problems and you help them get past it. An important part of that process is the aftermath. Not just helping them in that moment but getting to see the follow through as well. Seeing how your actions helped someone in the long term is just as satisfying as the act of helping them in the short term.
The Penpal Update is all about that follow through. It doesn’t introduce a new villain to beat, a new obstacle to overcome, or a new conflict to manage. It just shows you what happened in the community after Kai left and returned to the mainland. It’s been two years since Mutazione released and in that time, Miu, Tung, and all the other friends you’ve made continued living their lives.
So, if you’re interested in reconnecting with your old friends, load up the new update and let us know what you think in the Akupara Games Discord.
Explore the community as 15-year-old Kai as she travels to the strange and secretive community of Mutazione to care for her ailing grandfather, Nonno.
Make new friends; plant musical gardens; attend BBQs, band nights and boat trips; and embark on a final spiritual journey to save everyone from the strange darkness at the heart of it all.