Mushroom Wars: review

  • Format: PSN
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Creat Studios
  • Developer: Creat Studios
  • Players: 1-2
  • Site: www.creatstudios.com/

Real Time Strategy games come in all shapes and sizes. Let it never be said that there are none that cater to people of all ages, as Playstation Network exclusive Mushroom Wars proves.

Forgoing any real plot, Mushroom Wars simply depicts the carnage, the violence and the mass genocide that is a feud between races of mushrooms. We should probably point out that this unspeakable horror is depicted with loveable tiny sprites on a 2D battlefield, so it is suitable for younger players.

This is about as hectic as the campaign mode gets.

This is about as hectic as the campaign mode gets.

Before you, General Mushroom, sits a battlefield. On it is a number of building types that either you own, your enemy owns, or a neutral faction owns. Objectives can vary depending on mode, but usually it is to shut out the opposing team.

At each village a stream of mushrooms will be created and you give orders to them. Holding R1 brings up an arrow for you to point where you wish your mushrooms to march. Next you press one of the buttons, each corresponding to sending a percentage of troops towards the target. It became obvious to us that the key to success was proper management of numbers. What percent do you leave behind to guard your village or to attack with?

Holding L1 brings up the upgrade menu. Here you can upgrade the defence of the town or change it into a different building (like a guard tower) but at the expense of it no longer producing troops. Following all this so far? Good.

We’ve probably made it sound a little complicated, but the Campaign Mode eases you in to understanding it all. You’ll go through scenarios as you conquer all mushroomkind. Even just on normal difficulty some can be really challenging until you find a strategy that works. What we disliked was that the difficulty was artificially ramped up by giving the enemy a huge starting advantage, rather than new AI types to tackle (such as changing from defence based to aggressive).

Campaign will not keep you occupied for that long and we must admit that we didn’t find it as fun as we had hoped. Instead, we looked to multiplayer options. If you are willing to overlook the huge oversight of no network play over PSN, there¬†are some good things to be found here.

Either playing locally with a friend or in a skirmish with two or three AI opponents, you can tackle game types on a large selection of maps. The modes on offer are a mixture of types found in the campaign: Domination, Conquest and King of the Hill.

Skirmish mode is where it gets interesting.

Skirmish mode is where it gets interesting.

It can be hectic just trying to manage your numbers against one opponent, but when there’s up to two more (each with their own number balances and strategies) it becomes very hectic. You could see a village that your nearby army could easily siege, but if you move your force, will another enemy leap on your city? And while you’ve been debating all that you’ve lost every other village you had. Good job, General Mushroom!

Mushroom Wars is an acquired taste. You need to enjoy RTS games and you need to be up for a challenge. You also need to excuse no online play and the need to part with £7.99 to play it.

With its cute visual style it’s accessible to younger people more than the armchair generals that prefer adult RTS games. Truth be told: after a few hours of sending such adorable squeaking mushroom hordes to their inevitable deaths, we had to stop playing as we were getting a bit depressed.

3/5

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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

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