Developer: BambooWind Software
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Mushroom Madness understands that there is a tactile thrill in just frantically tapping something to kill it. Sure, there's more to it than that. It's got a good look and enough content to back that mechanic up. However, the real reason Mushroom Madness works as well as it does is because beating away pesky critters with one's finger is just plain fun.
Players have five modes to choose from but the basic premise is the same throughout. Bothersome forest creatures are out to steal some delicious mushrooms and the player's job is to make them pay. Another game might have players "capturing" said animals but when Mushroom Madness has players unlocking maces, shotguns and bombs to get the job done, it's pretty clear what's actually going on. The crisp, cute cartoon graphics and laid-back music are the only things covering up how violent this game actually is. At least it's fun violence though. All one has to do is tap on the various pests or hold down for a stronger attack for stronger animals. Spiders are fast but die in one hit while bears need a good thrashing before going down. There's no multi-touch support so players have to determine which animals pose the biggest threat and quickly hunt them one at a time. It's quite visceral.
The gameplay is ultimately very shallow - all one really does is tap on anything that moves - but the various modes help to alleviate that. Beyond the regular adventure mode there are modes where players must take on whole waves on animals, last as long as they can, play tower defense, or pick a random chest to see how much money comes out. Getting money, as well as stars, is the driving force behind these modes. Killing animals and completing extra tasks like protecting all mushrooms or destroying all trees gives players the money and stars needed to upgrade weapons and unlock new stages and achievements. For such a simple game there is a lot to do here.
Those who want their games to be a little more complicated, as well as those who want their games to be nice to animals, may be justifiably put off by Mushroom Madness. However, anyone looking to indulge with some dumb, savage fun should give it a look.