Developer: SMS Services
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The RTS (Real-Time Strategy) is, understandably, often considered to be quite an intimidating genre. It conjures up images of convoluted statistics and plenty of different enemy types required to be carefully manipulated in order to succeed. Mushroom Wars might technically be an RTS but it’s far from intimidating, instead focusing on the basic structure of the genre and adding a hefty dose of cute.

Players control the Mushroom Army as they attempt to make peace with an evil enemy within their forest. Each map offers a series of mushroom villages with warriors in each, as well as some neutral towers or villages ready for the taking. Winning the map requires taking over the map or select outposts on it, by dragging a finger from the friendly outpost to the enemy spot. That’s as simple as it gets, although Mushroom Wars does offer a few tricks up its sleeve.

Each village gradually accumulates more fighters over time, but they also need upgrading with a double tap of the screen. There’s a careful battle of attrition here as it’s important to spread out warriors, while also ensuring that no outpost is too underpowered for fear of invasion by the enemy force.

A slider can adjust how many soldiers are deployed in one swipe, but there’s also the need to plan ahead and invade neutral towers to get ahead of the competition. For a game so simple, Mushroom Wars has more depth than one would think. Progress through the campaign’s 27 levels and it quickly turns quite tough, too.

Mushroom Wars is an intuitive game with simple advice offered such as an SOS announcement when a village is under threat, making it the kind of game ideal for young and old, but it does lack the excitement and strategical thinking of something like Fieldrunners 2. Mostly, Mushroom Wars is all about outnumbering the competition and that’s something that is down to timing rather than tactical thinking. It’s a fun ride for a time, but with little else in terms of content such as the PSN original’s multiplayer mode, it’s lacking.

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