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PlayStation Network Review: Mushroom Wars

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Mushroom Wars is a simple and yet complex real-time strategy tower defense game from Creat Studios for PSN. An easy game to learn how to play, it remains fun as one goes through it over and over again.

The game looks decent, everything on the screen is small, so there may not be much detail, but what we have, including the different sets of environments (forest, desert, swamp), looks good.  In fact, the same could be said for the entirety of the game — everything is basic, it is easy to understand what is what, but it all works.

To step back for a minute, the story in the game is minimal — the protagonist is one kingdom of mushrooms and the antagonist are three rival kingdoms that want to take over the land. In order to defeat them, one needs to develop and deploy an appropriate strategy of improving one's troops and upgrading one's towers.

Controls are very simple, with the left analog stick is for movement and the R1 button for action. Once R1 is pressed, it enables the direct movement of the soldiers to the towers. If it is an enemy’s tower then the two armies will they will begin to fight each other — the army with the most soldiers in the tower at the end of the battle takes the tower.  One can't be overly specific about the number of army members sent to a tower, they can only go in blocks of 25, 50, 75 or 100 percent of one's army.

In order to protect towers, upgrading is crucial.  Upgrading towers all increases the number of units that can be housed in said tower and the amount of soldiers that can be created as the tower will continue to create soldiers in the tower until the limit is reached.

After the fifth mission in campaign, the game introduces moral levels into gameplay. As more towers are taken over by soldiers that team’s moral increases. This is important because it causes soldiers to attack more strongly, defend better, and move faster.

The campaigns are basically one of three types or sometimes combinations of them. These types are Conquest, Domination, and King of the Hill. Conquest is the elimination of all enemies and structures, Domination is the take over all of buildings with a star, and King of the Hill is holding buildings with a star until a certain number of points is reached.

There are 28 different levels in the game and each level has three different difficulty settings. There is also the ability to play different skirmish levels while not playing in a campaign. There are also local multiplayer maps which allow for up to two players to play at once.

The game is great. It handles well for an RTS on the PlayStation, and the controls are intuitive. It also is very easy to pick up and put down. It gives the ability to save after each level, so one needn't worry about having to achieve too much in a sitting.  The only down side is the amount of players that play this game on PSN is not that great, which does dampen the game's multiplayer ability. Lastly, one of the things that really impresses is the game's YouTube integration.  Game videos are easily uploaded to YouTube's site which is a nice little addition.


 Mushroom Wars is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Mild Cartoon Violence.

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