Mushroom Wars

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Mushroom Wars Game Poster Image
Fun strategy game with mild violence will grow on players.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Proper strategy can overcome changing conditions, result in positive outcomes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive, negative role models in game; whole goal is to conquer your neighbors by having more troops than they do.

Ease of Play

Simple to pick up, play, but combination of difficulty levels, strategy present challenges.

Violence

Cartoon violence with one group overrunning another, enemy encampments in flames, but there's no blood, gore. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mushroom Wars is a downloadable strategy game based on conquering neighbors through sheer numbers. Players are also required to use tactical planning to upgrade your existing strongholds to withstand attacks. The violence is shown with numerical values showing enemy strength -- when you have thrown enough troops at a base, and the enemy numbers in a camp hit 0, you conquer, or turn, the camp into your territory. The main campaign is a progressive one-screen battleground with different challenges, and it's easy to learn how to play, but the tactics for each level will keep gamers busy.

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What's it about?

In MUSHROOM WARS, players take on the role of commander-in-chief of an army of friendly-looking fungi and march through a progressive campaign of challenges, hurling numbers at enemy strongholds to conquer and claim victory. Players can capture and hold settlements and build defensive towers and armories to increase the size of their forces. There are several difficulty levels and three modes of play (Campaign, Skirmish, and a yet-to-be-delivered Multiplayer). Upgrades are available, and army numbers repopulate quickly. Strategy is a big player in this title, giving the game surprising depth. 

Is it any good?

It's always fun to have expectations exceeded with a title that appears so simple yet delivers depth and challenge. Mushroom Wars is bright and colorful, with appealing cartoon graphics and toned-down violence that lures players in and then delivers a solid strategic gaming experience. There doesn't appear to be much to the game, and even the controls are scaled way back to keep it fairly simple, but once you get past the early levels of the campaign, and the battlefields become more and more populated with targets, the game takes on another dimension of challenge and fun. The battles can be short or long, and up to 4,000 units can be storming around the battlefield. 

If the game has a downfall, it's that not the entire package was delivered at launch. There are the Campaign and Skirmish modes, but the Multiplayer has yet to be released. And this game is a port of an acclaimed PlayStation game, so if players have it on that platform, there's little reason to get it for PC. Mushroom Wars has broad age appeal; it can be an introduction to the strategy genre for younger players and parents won't have concerns about content, but it can also provide some serious challenges for more experienced strategy gamers. This is a lot of fun(gi) and challenging to boot. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Mushroom Wars doesn't actively show blood or gore for its combat, so how does its gameplay remain engaging? Would it be more effective if it was more graphic?

  • Talk about strategy. How does strategy create the conditions for victory in the game? Do you see how these conditions could carry over to real life?

Game details

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For kids who love strategy

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