Mushroom Wars on PC
In a world where games are becoming increasingly complex, there’s something to be said for simplicity. Mushroom Wars embraces this idea with its remarkably straightforward take on the real-time strategy concept. Without sacrificing some of the core mechanics of the genre, this easy to learn yet tough to master title manages to craft an effective, if somewhat minimal, user interface and gameplay style.
Mushroom Wars, as the title suggests, follows an army of mushroom folk as they seek to defend their kingdom and claim territory against rival fungi. Each map consists of a different layout of buildings that players may capture by sending their troops to battle while defending their holdings against enemy intrusion. A no-frills point-and-click interface drives the gameplay, making it an easy game to play even as the difficulty increases and things become more frantic.
Despite its overall simplicity, Mushroom Wars still nails the strategy aspect very well. In addition to the house-like buildings that generate your army’s troops, players can also capture or upgrade towers and forges. Towers serve as defensive bastions, laying waste to opposing forces that come into their firing radius. Forges, on the other hand, increase both the offensive and defensive abilities of your fungal forces.
While Mushroom Wars may seem pretty basic based on its aesthetic and boiled-down approach to the strategy genre, it’s still plenty tough. The early going focuses quite a bit on helping players learn the ropes, including building up your army, capturing buildings, and learning to use the game’s stat-boosting morale system. As players pass level 10 or so, though, the difficulty ramps up and you’ll be faced with maps that leave you cleanly outnumbered at the start, struggling for a foothold to victory.
Due to its pretty minimal take on the genre, Mushroom Wars likely won’t appeal to hardcore RTS fans. That said, it’s a perfect fit for those who, like me, are interested in the style but find more complex games too tough to get the hang of. By keeping things simple, it creates an approachable game that’s quickly learned and may have broader appeal. The graphics, sound, and overall aesthetic are all aligned perfectly to this less-complicated play, and the dumbed-down user interface keeps it from becoming overwhelming.
I certainly can’t recommend Mushroom Wars to everyone, but for those who have a passing interest in real-time strategy, it’s a great option. The game includes a lengthy campaign mode, quick-battle Skirmish mode, and boasts an upcoming multiplayer option to allow players to challenge each other in battle.