As a heroic sentient mushroom (a meteor has fallen and made stuff sentient that ought not be) you wander around an environment made up almost exclusively of trash and junk. The first level is a tutorial that leads you through the interactive map (which features red dots that mark waypoints), the weapon system, and combat. The map's dots mark the location of other mushrooms that need to be rescued from bugs or other enemies, much like the rescue-based level design in Drawn to Life.
Gallery: Mushroom Men
I played all the way through one level, which scrolled labyrinthine ... ly vertically and horizontally. Along the way I found various weapon components to be combined in the "Scav System," including such exotic elements as a stick, a sharp stick, and a bead. This weapon system is where the major problem comes in.
Basically, you can play the game on either screen. There's a screen-swapping icon that moves the gameplay onto the bottom of the screen when you need to interact with the environment, either touching the save points or drawing on the screen (spore powers are activated by drawing gestures on the screen). But the inventory is also managed on the touch screen. The solution? Pause the game to access the inventory? No! You have to see the menu screen and the gameplay at the same time! You have to swap the screens back and forth! And then mess with the menu while the game is still running!
The weapon system itself is really neat and intuitive. Basically, you have a menu full of items, and grabbing one will cause all the other items that can't interact with it to be marked with a red circle. After you create a new weapon (like a stick with a bead on it, which creates a sort of club), you can pull it back apart to get the components back. You'll find components all over the levels.
Halfway through the first level, I received the ability to grapple by dragging from a grapple icon to the location I'd like to grapple, then letting go. This took me maybe five minutes to figure out, but then it worked fine. Grappling immediately elevates any game. And this one already has gorgeous lighting effects and interesting design!
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