Creeps, Leaps, and Slides Across the Floor – Mushroom 11 oozes beyond categorization
Imagine you’re nine years old again trying to squeeze gak through your parents’ colander. Except their kitchen is a wasteland. Or construction site. Plus, as you pull of parts of the gak more grow back. If you weren’t that creative a child don’t worry, Brooklyn, New York, based Untame Games has captured this very specific experience and is turning it into one of the most unique games you’ll come across.
As we announced last week all pre-orders of Mushroom 11 come with a playable level in the game. In the fifteen minutes or so it takes to finish the level, it’s easy to see why this game has captured so much positive attention. As the level begins you find your pile of green goo and the controls are simple in execution. Click on or around different sections to “erase” your character. As you erase yourself, your body grows back on opposite sides. Not immediately, however, allowing you to get into various crevices and corners. This manipulation is where the challenge exists.
The headline of this story is ripped from the tagline to the movie poster for The 1958 version of the Blob. It describes perfectly how you’ll go about the game. Mushroom 11 combines elements of platformers and puzzle games but with the unique presentation it never feels that way. At one point I had to get my blob over a building which was sinking into a lava pit requiring me to go for speed. Another segment has you shape yourself in such a way as to climb strange overhangs. You’ll mash yourself through tight sections and wind up stuck in little mazes you have to work your way around. You’ll have fire to burn you up and falling sections to squash your mass.
The boss fight had me scooting my gooey self around vines as it shot fireballs and destroyed little sections of my blob at a time. In order to defeat it you had to climb into each segment and put out its flames with part of your body. There was no direct attacking, it was all about timing and avoiding the flames. You can sacrifice part of yourself, however, it’s going to grow back. There is a lot of strategy and the challenge was satisfying to squish through.
The level design is something to behold as well. The urban destruction and environment gave me a similar vibe to Limbo by comparison. Every section of the level has lush post-apocalyptic backgrounds and cityscapes that changed throughout. The music does a lot to aid in this, featuring a soundtrack by The Future Sound of London. Despite the limited narrative based on observation the game still gave a feeling of isolation in this interesting world that’s been crafted.
Mushroom 11 will be out early next year. To preorder Mushroom 11 and check it out for yourself head to the official site.