Mush­room 11

In this ra­dioac­tive waste­land, what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger

Mac Format - - RATED -

£10.99 De­vel­oper Un­tame, un­tame.com

Re­quires OS X 10.7 or higher

Most fungi aren’t known for their in­tel­li­gence, but Mush­room 11 is pretty smart. What other game is there where a mal­leable blob of mould seeps across the post-apoc­a­lyp­tic rem­nants of civil­i­sa­tion?

In Mush­room 11 you are that mould – a green splat that can’t ac­tu­ally move but can grow, yet has to main­tain the same mass. Your mouse is es­sen­tially an eraser; only by de­stroy­ing part of your­self can you move for­wards. It’s a me­chanic that sounds in­cred­i­bly awk­ward, yet it be­comes fluid and nat­u­ral as more com­plex­ity is in­tro­duced. As you grow, you learn new ways to sculpt your­self, from be­ing a liv­ing ramp for ex­plo­sive pro­jec­tiles to wrap­ping your­self around ma­chin­ery. Each stage ends with a mon­strous Love­craftian en­tity, and get­ting past it tests ev­ery­thing you’ve learned.

Mush­room 11 is set against the re­mains of a civil­i­sa­tion torn apart by nu­clear war. Al­though this is a 2D plat­former, the back­drops give it an amaz­ing feel­ing of depth, as well as be­ing mildly un­set­tling. There are signs of new life – brightly coloured spi­ders and flow­ers – which you roll over and ab­sorb. You won­der what the sur­vivors are so afraid of, but when you see jel­ly­fish flee­ing, you re­alise maybe it’s you. But this rev­e­la­tion doesn’t stop you. There are more flow­ers to dis­solve, and the cir­cle of de­cay and growth must con­tinue. Alice Bell Mush­room 11 is well de­signed, beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing on many lev­els. It’s any­thing but sim­ple.

Orig­i­nal, with fluid con­trols

Beau­ti­ful level de­sign

Can be­come frus­trat­ing

In­spires some ex­is­ten­tial angst

Post-nu­clear apoc­a­lypse, the world has a lot more lava than you may be used to.

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