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Max Mustard

Developer / Publisher – Toast Interactive
Price – US $29.99 / CAN 34.99 / EU €29.99 / UK £24.99
Release Date – March 21st, 2024
Input – 2 x Motion Controllers
Play Area –  Seated, Standing, Roomscale
Store Links – Meta
Reviewed on – Quest 3

I’ve always been a supporter of releasing non-1st person titles in VR as I think almost every genre can be made better by the medium if used correctly.  It’s a shame then that the 3D platformer has been largely ignored with Astrobot Rescue Mission setting the bar when it comes to gameplay and interaction.  Max Mustard looks to bring that quality to our headsets as you control and aid Max after he witnesses a villainous businessman capture and cage some cute creatures with the plans to sell them to the super wealthy.  It’s not the most unique plot ever but it’s not like the narrative has ever been the most important aspect for this game type.  There is a side story as Max receives fan mail that is much more serious in nature than anything else in the game and it does have a payoff, it just feels a little tacked on and doesn’t quite fit the vibe of the game.   Like any traditional platformer you’ll be collecting various coins, killing enemy minions & dodging obstacles though there are a few VR specific interactions that make this more than just your average platformer.

It’s 3D platforming at its finest.

So the platforming, mechanics and gameplay here are, overall solid, offering up an experience very much akin to Rescue Mission.  Max can jump and use his rocket boots to hover for a few seconds making for some interesting platforming sections as the game tries to lure you with those precious coins at the risk of death should you not be a master of Max’s abilities.  Enemies can be dispatched by jumping on them or by using the various attacks you unlock as you play through the 40-stage story.  To get all the coins and rescue all the creatures may require you to push Max’s skills to his limit by making jumps that may seem almost to far or navigating levels that require more precise timing. Collecting any of this stuff isn’t required, save for the mudpups which you will need a set amount of to progress past certain stages but for the most part they are hard to miss and fairly easy to snag.

While it’s not really required, those coins you do collect can be spent at each levels store on upgrades and new abilities for Max that do make the game a little easier.  These include longer rocket boosts, faster movement and new attacks beyond just jumping on enemy heads.  These are a great motivation to explore each stage as most are littered with hidden areas and blocks that can yield more loot.

Some stages are very vertical.

As I said you are not just controlling Max as you also have a presence in the game thanks to some special items that pop up throughout this roughly 4-to-5-hour campaign.  On occasion and during boss battles, you’ll be tossed a gun of some type, typically a plunger gun, that lets you shoot down enemies or interact with the environment to help Max.  Besides the usual stages, there will be additional levels that require you to take out targets as fast as possible with said gun and challenge Max to get as many coins as possible in a short amount of time.  Some stages also offer specials moments like having to steer a raft down a river, a stage where gravity is reduced allowing Max to jump way higher and further and a few more that do a nice job of mixing up the action.

This all makes for a relatively in-depth platformer that did motivate me to explore every nook and cranny and ensure I paid attention for any extra’s hidden throughout each stage.  I did find it to be a little on the easier side with the later worlds offering more obstacles and challenges though lives are unlimited, and should you die, you’ll start off at the last checkpoint button you had pushed.  Some of these moments can be a little annoying as the checkpoints can be a little far apart though it’s never more than a minute or 2 of jumping around to catch up to where you perished.  The game does play with your view with Max occasionally being higher than you or quite far away which did cause a me a few deaths as it was a little challenging to move Max around when I couldn’t see him or gaps in the environment, but that’s a minor issue at worst.

The bosses are quite fun!

Max Mustard is nothing short of pleasant and polished with nary a flaw in sight save for the very few levels where your view isn’t blocked by a large door and lets you see very far.  It’s in those stages where I did see some pop-in waayyyy in the distance, but on the other side of that coin, I was impressed by just how far I could see so I’m really just being nitpicky here.  Of course, the cartoon art style used compliments the casual and friendly gameplay with every stage looking quite different no matter which of the 4 worlds I was in.  As the camera, you’ll automatically follow Max as he navigates each stage which can get a little tricky at times during those sections where he’s hard to see, but these don’t occur that often and there is a quick turn option you can buy in the store (for dirt cheap) that lets you more easily view the action if turning in real life isn’t an option.  I rarely used that turn option as the game is 99% designed to have enemies, loot and creatures within 180 degrees in front of you but if you do miss something, it’s easy enough to look backwards but the camera may fight you if you have Max go back.   These are minor quibbles though and really appreciated the charm in every stage and their general design made them look and feel like complete stages unlike something like Ven VR which had some stages feel like assets were just floating over a still image background.  Enemies come in a decent variety, traps and obstacles even more so and from beginning to end, I really appreciated the throwback vibe this was clearly going for.  Oh, the boss moments are the most VRAF moments in here as they are quite large, usually get in your face and require you to not only control Max, but involve you in some way, typically shooting at them with your plunger gun when their weak spots are exposed.  One last, once again, minor issue is the noticeable aliasing on the Quest 3 which doesn’t ruin the game, but I find jaggies distracting so now you know.  Bottom line is this is a polished looking title loaded with casual charm.

Some stages are very busy…in fact most are!

Not much to say about the audio other than that it fits nearly perfect with enemies all making their appropriate noises and the environments all sounding as they should.  The soundtrack ranges from some generic tunes to fairly dramatic ones and when I didn’t notice the music, it typically fell nicely into the background but when I did notice it, it was a very catchy track and as this happened on more than a few occasions, I’m gonna say the soundtrack in here is pretty good.  3D audio is on point and can clue you in to where those captured creatures may be with my only real gripe when it comes to the audio design being that I found the bosses to way to quiet, to a point where it sounded like audio was just missing at times.  These fights were never in complete silence, it just felt to me like these big bad bosses could’ve made some bigger, badder noises.

The game is always changing things up!

Max Mustard a really fun traditional 3D platformer made better by VR. It doesn’t really break the mold when it comes to the genre, but it doesn’t have too and instead embraces it’s roots, pays homage to its predecessors and used the VR medium enough to make it feel special.  Fans of the other titles I have mentioned in this review should rejoice as I think this is easily one of my favourite VR platformers that offers up enough unique gameplay elements to easily recommend for the asking price to those looking for more casual fun!

Toast Interactive provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!


  • Classics 3D platforming action
  • Levels do a great job a keeping things fresh
  • Solid presentation
  • Purchasable abilities are a nice addition
  • 5-hour campaign...more or less


  • Most of the stages are on the easier side
  • Bosses sound unusually muted
  • Fan mail stories don't fit the game's vibe
  • Some wonky views can cause unfair deaths


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