Mushroom Wars is a PlayStation Network exclusive game developed and published by Creat Studios. The game tries to take on both the RTS and Tower Defense genres. Does the game succeed in mixing the two and delivering a unique experience, or are some marriages doomed from the beginning?
Mushroom Wars presents 3 basic modes: Campaign, Local Multiplayer and Skirmish. The lack of an online multiplayer mode in the game is a striking omission, and would have added a lot to the game. Local multiplayer provides a total of six different maps to play against one person, and each player is given the option of three different kinds of mushrooms, which changes the type of towers used. The Skirmish mode provides twelve different maps on which the player competes against one to three computer controlled teams. This mode can get pretty fast and frenetic, especially against two computer players. Both the local multiplayer and Skirmish modes have three different types of gameplay: Conquest, Domination and King of the Hill.
The main part of the gameplay comes in the form of Campaign mode, which has three available difficulty levels. Campaign mode consists of 26 battles and a final battle to try and secure the entire map. To move troops during battle, players hold the R1 button, select a base to move to, and then hit one of the face buttons to determine how many troops to send. Sending the right amount of troops is key, as sending too many may leave other bases open to counterattack. The main problem with the movement is that there is no way to cancel orders. It is easy to accidently send troops to the wrong base, which can be a crucial error as troop movement becomes fast and furious.
Bases can be upgraded using troops stationed at each base. Upgrading the bases allows more troop storage and boosts defense. Besides regular bases, players can also control towers and forges. Towers shoot at enemies within their range and can also be upgraded to hold more troops. Controlling a forge gives more attack power and defensive ability. Additionally, successfully defending or defeating a base gives a morale boost which raises attack power and defense. The game could definitely benefit from a bit more variety at times; more in-game upgrades would be nice, as well as more variety in the structures in general.
After each victory is a rewards screen that gives points based on objectives completed, time taken, and special awards earned. There are up to 9 different special awards handed out for things like having all bases upgraded to the max and capturing as many buildings as possible in the first minute.
There are different objectives to complete in each campaign mission. In some, players must capture every base, while others require players to capture or defend only certain bases. This adds a nice twist to the campaign mode, as it gives some variety and challenge to each mission.
The graphics in Mushroom Wars are nothing to write home about, but they serve the game well. The cute, tiny look of the characters and the bases compliments the gameplay very well. The sound work is also solid, with a good set of music in the background, and subtle but amusing cheers from troops when they capture a base. The game will remind many players of PixelJunk Monsters in terms of its presentation.
Overall, Mushroom Wars is a solid game that is easy for someone new to the RTS or tower defense genres to pick up on. However, the game lacks the depth that a veteran of these genres would be looking for. Lack of an online multiplayer mode hurts as well, as this would be a fun game to pick up and play against 3 friends online. Mushroom Wars is, however, a fast paced game that is easy to pick up and play.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Easy to pick up and play
Lack of depth and online multiplayer hurts