Mr. Prepper – Review
Follow Genre: Survival game
Developer: Rejected Games, Ultimate Games, ConsoleWay
Publisher: Ultimate Games, PlayWay
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Mr. Prepper – Review

Site Score
Good: A decent satire on American politics
Bad: Tedious and repetitive gameplay
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It’s backlog time again! We strive to bring you reviews of the latest and greatest games, of course, but with a never-ending stream of new releases, some titles inevitably slip through the cracks. So occasionally we look back at interesting titles that we missed, in this semi-regular feature. Today’s title, Mr. Prepper, is such a game. Originally launched on PC in 2021, the game received critical acclaim and a ton of updates and DLC on Steam since its debut. However, that is *not* the specific version of Mr. Prepper that we’ll be looking at. Instead, we’re putting the 2022 Switch port under scrutiny, courtesy of Ultimate Games. Despite its age, Mr. Prepper feels very current, thanks to its satirical take on the increasingly unhinged political situation in the United States, so we were more than eager to bunker up with the game.


To say that Mr. Prepper’s story is vague is an understatement. The game’s opening hints at some sort of plague having happened, but thanks to the efforts of the president, the American way of life has been restored. The downside of the picture-perfect community that the survivors of the plague now live in, is that a totalitarian government runs it. Our protagonist is the titular Mr. Prepper, and when we first meet him, government agents are returning him to his house after a botched escape attempt. Why Mr. Prepper wants to escape his model life, and where he intends to go afterwards isn’t really touched upon, in-depth nor how or why he intends to escape by building a survival bunker under his house. Either way, Mr. Prepper is expecting bad things to happen. It’s not a bad premise, as far as things go, provided you don’t overthink it too much. There are lengthy dialogue sequences with other preppers but these aren’t well-written, and basically boil down to your typical conspiracy theorist talk, where preppers are wolves and citizens are sheep. Oh, and the game is riddled with typos.


While Mr. Prepper isn’t going to blow anyone away with its visuals, it’s not a terrible-looking game either. The visuals get the point across without compromising the game’s performance. Our only gripe here is that the interface often tries to convey way too much information at once, resulting in cluttered-looking menus. The one exception to the graphics being ‘okay’ are the -barely animated- cutscenes, that for some reason look incredibly blurry, as you can see below.


There isn’t anything particularly memorable about Mr. Prepper’s soundscape. Voice acting is absent, and while we didn’t mind the music, it was forgettable too, to the point that if we’d hear the tunes right now, we literally wouldn’t recognize them, even if we just played the game the evening before. The soundtrack is as generic as it gets, as are the sound effects.


There are plenty of survival games out there, and most fit into one of two categories: either you find yourself in the wild and are left to fend for yourself, like Green Hell, or you’re building and managing a base. Mr. Prepper falls in the latter category, as you create your own little underground kingdom-for-one, with the aid of a mysterious organization that shares your views about the government. Of course, said government is closely watching you after your failed escape attempt, so avoiding the gaze of Big Brother is equally important as making sure your hydroponic garden is working as it should. One thing you’ll learn about your new bunker life is that you’ll need a lot of patience and need to put in a lot of effort to inch forward. Mr. Prepper is a deliberately slow game, tedious even, at least in its normal mode. We’ll get to the creative side, but for now, let’s focus on Mr. Prepper’s gameplay loop.

Every day, you must try to complete tasks to survive as well as improve your secret bunker. Things start out easy enough: on day one, you’re digging your first room, but once that’s done, all you have is a dark hole in the ground. So you’ll want a ladder to get down there, rig up some lights, and perhaps most importantly, your workbench. All of these things, and everything you need to craft subsequently, require resources, but due to the situation that Mr. Prepper finds himself living in, resources are limited. Sure, you can break apart your government-issued furniture for raw materials, but seeing that your bookshelf is gone may raise red flags when the government agents come to visit you. Mr. Prepper isn’t a very difficult game, at least as far as survival games go, but it is a very unforgiving one in that you can’t save manually. When you go to bed at the end of each day, the game autosaves. You’ll need to make the most out of each day but the tedious nature of the game makes it that risk-taking is highly discouraged, because having to start over an entire day isn’t ideal, given how little progress you make.

This highlights Mr. Prepper’s biggest issue: the game’s mind-numbing pacing. Most of your time feels wasted on repetitive tasks, like picking berries in the woods. You can only obtain certain resources through your mailbox, but these either cost money or require bartering with other materials. Figuring out the most efficient routine is probably the best way to tackle the game, but it feels like you’re taking baby steps every single day, and when a single wrong decision causes a game over, it’s unlikely you want to put in all the work all over again. There are a handful of ways that Mr. Prepper tries to break the tedium: eventually, you’ll unlock a gun and can go hunting in the woods, for example, which results in a QTE minigame of sorts, but these don’t really compensate for the boredom of the core game. Now, there are several ways that things can go awry, and your biggest concern should be to keep an eye on three parameters: hunger and sleep are the obvious ones, but there is also a prepper gauge. If that one runs out, it’s game over too, so if you were thinking of cheating the system by becoming a law-abiding citizen, you’re out of luck too.

The Switch version of the game lacks the DLC packs, and perhaps these fix some of Mr. Prepper’s issues, but as it stands, there’s more boredom than fun to be found here. Now, if you opt to play Mr. Prepper in the so-called creative mode, you’re able to build the bunker of your dreams without having to worry about resource management or the government, but this kind of defeats the purpose of the game in the first place. It doesn’t help that Mr. Prepper just isn’t a good port on the Switch. When looking at the game’s Steam score, Mr. Prepper received plenty of love from the player base, but we’re left wondering why, as the version we played simply isn’t optimized for the platform. Using the touch screen feels inaccurate and it’s clear that this game was intended to be played with a mouse and keyboard first and foremost. Moving your cursor with a stick feels slow, as does scrolling the camera over the environment. This isn’t a game that requires quick reflexes, but the hamstrung controls don’t help with the monotonous pacing either.

We wouldn’t go as far as to say that Mr. Prepper is unplayable on Switch, and the foundation of a decent enough game is clearly visible here. It’s just that this is a shoddy, and unpolished port that doesn’t quite incentivize players to keep returning to it. All the Switch version really did was make us curious about the PC version. With various difficulty options alongside the creative mode, there is plenty here to keep us occupied for dozens of hours in theory, but in practice, we were bored with it after around three hours. We can imagine a mouse and keyboard setup would instantly alleviate a lot of the tedium here though, even for the most mundane tasks. Mr. Prepper‘s Switch port feels like one of those hamburger advertisements for a fast food chain: the burger looks amazing on the poster, but in real life, it’s always disappointing and overpriced. Perhaps the Steam version is closer to what developer Rejected Games is advertising.


While we can definitely get behind Mr. Prepper as a concept, we feel like the Switch port of the game doesn’t live up to the game’s full potential. Ultimate Games, who handled the port, has a penchant for not updating titles post-release. Seeing the slew of additional content for the PC version cements our suspicion that Mr. Prepper on Switch isn’t up to snuff. While your mileage may vary compared to the Steam version, we can’t recommend this port.

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Mr. Prepper - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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