Mushroom Wars in Review: Spores Are Fungis Too

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I’ve always been partial to turn based strategy games because I tend to have difficulties processing everything that’s going on all at once when the action is real time.  However, I began taking an interest in the real time side of things again when I was introduced to what I call “strategy lite” games where you basically have one screen full of stuff to deal with and the action is mostly relegated to simply trying to take over your opponents’ structures.  With no resource management, no complex troop management and advanced quests providing fun but unnecessary diversions, games like Mushroom Wars still provide a decent level of strategy but supply it in a nice pick up and go package.

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There are some nifty little cut scenes every now and again, though truth be told other than the fact that there is a conflict I don’t really know what’s going on.  It doesn’t particularly matter though, because I do know the most important thing which is that my goal is to take over the enemy before they do the same to me.  Thankfully that’s pretty easy to do mechanically, as you just have to drag your finger from the building of the armies you wish to use to the building you want to attack.  Eventually you’ll get a slider that lets you determine what percentage of troops you want to send out at a time, but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward.  You can also double tap a building to upgrade it when the upgrade arrow is present, and that pretty much sums up your interactivity in the realm of the mushrooms.

Thankfully mastering the mechanics and mastering the game are two different things.  So far every battle has taken place on a single screen, yet it amazes me how each one can require such a different strategy in order to complete the level.  You’ll eventually get towers that shoot whoever doesn’t own them, and there will also be barriers placed in strategically annoying locations.  Every few battles seem to introduce something new, and it really keeps you revaluating how to play the game.  Just wait until you start with only building to the opponent’s many or you can’t see how many troops each enemy structure holds.  Best of all, each level in the campaign has at least six different awards to win, so while you might have beaten a level and moved on, you haven’t truly conquered the level until you’ve gained every award.  The game also supports Game Center for achievements, though there are no leaderboards at this point.

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The main disappointment for me at this point is that the menu is full of more “coming soons” than options.  There’s a Challenge button which when tapped says “coming soon”, a Multiplayer button which when tapped says… you guessed it… “coming soon”, and Facebook Login and Fight buttons that say “no connection” after attempting to connect to a server, even when you are connected to the internet.  Now I’m not suggesting that I have anything against features being added after the fact, but it is a bit ridiculous when the main menu is more about what you can expect than what you already have.  Still, the campaign mode has certainly whet my appetite for what is to come.

The graphics are tiny, which I realize comes from trying to keep everything on one screen.  Still, the visuals are finely detailed, and it’s great watching troops of little stick wielding mushroom creatures march across the screen.  The cut scenes are well done, even if I can’t quite figure out the whole storyline.  The sound effects compliment the action pretty well, and it’s almost a bit disheartening to hear the screams as a building is being attacked.  The music is nice and does a good job of enhancing the ambiance without actually drawing attention to itself.

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Mushroom Wars is a shining example of what this kind of “simple” strategy game can be.  It looks sharp, it’s engaging and it challenges you without making you want to pull your hair out.  I just hope the additions come sooner rather than later, because I don’t really like having a bunch of menu options that provide no value when I tap them.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Mushroom WarsDeveloper: SMS Services O.o.o.
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:6.0
Price:$3.99App Size:
  • Simple yet emerssive
  • Balanced difficulty level
  • Looks great
  • Too many useless menu items

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