What would you do if one day a meteor barreled down on the Earth, mutating plant life and insects into walking, breathing entities with a fondness for combat? Chances are you’d try to burn them, or realize you were just playing one of the games in the Mushroom Men series.
Mushroom Men, developed by Red Fly Studios, consists of two different stories spanned across the Wii and DS platforms. Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi on the DS is chronologically the first game in the time line and takes place after the meteor smashes into Earth. The game covers the Mushroom Men civilization in its infancy and goes through the whole evolutionary process from learning to walk upright, to waging war on other tribes. Its then up to the player to determine what skills the tribe will have and carve out their history.
There are a four different tribes in Mushroom Men that claim a certain part of the world as their own. Their abilities and demeanors are unique as well. The game’s protagonist’s tribe, called the Bolete, are a peaceful group. All they really want is to live in peace and live off the land. They excel at melee combat and the construction of powerful weapons. While not as intelligent as the other tribes, they make up for it with a strong since of unity.
The other tribe of good guys are the Morels, who are a lot more sophisticated than the Bolete tribe. They use technology to develop weapons while depending on the power of logic and reasoning to run their affairs.
But it’s not all happy-happy-joy-joy in the Mushroom Men world. For the two good tribes there are also two bad tribes. The enemies of the game are insects that have been mutated thanks to the meteor. One such group is the Amanitas Empire who are extremely pale and skinny in appearance. Their empire works very similar to the Roman Empire — they move about the land conquering anyone that stands in the way.
The final tribe, the Lepoita Order, uses poison and black magic to dominate and is controlled by Necromancers who use old radios and cars to build their shrines. In other words, they worship VW buses from the 1970’s. Seriously.
The other creatures that were mutated formed into Los Cactos Mutantes, and the Kudzu. My Spanish isn’t as good as it used to be but I’m guessing that first name translates into The Mutant Cactus’s. They fight using ranged attacks from their spines, while the Kudzu use expanding vines to consume their foes.
The aftermath from the Mushroom Men’s fight for survival leads to The Spore Wars, which is where the Wii version takes off. Both games will be available in October of this year.
Also, check out our hands-on preview of both Rise of the Fungi and The Spore Wars.
[See also: Mushroom Men gallery]