Mushroom Revolution


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JoshMushroom RevolutionA fantastic little tower defense game hit casual gaming websites last week, flying in under the radar with little fanfare, yet quite deserving. Mushroom Revolution is a cartoon-styled strategy game rooted with the tried-and-true tower defense formula, with a simplified elemental tower system similar to last year's hit, GemCraft. A sequel to the obscure Mushroom Farm Defender, Mushroom Revolution is actually more of an updated an improved version of the original, with better graphics and bigger gameplay. At first glance, the comic-looking mushroom "towers" and cutesy creeps might seem like it chooses style over substance, but the gameplay is actually pretty engaging (and challenging), able to hold its own among most of today's popular tower defense games. A large variety of both offensive and defensive tower types offer many different ways of completing each level, which is the main reason Mushroom Revolution stands out in a genre that's been forced to keep reinventing itself to stay relevant.

Mushroom Revolution screen 2There's really no drawn-out story as to why you're using mushrooms (called Gomphus) to defend against incoming waves of little Pokemon-looking creeps, yet the premise is so whimsical anyway that you probably won't mind. There's a nice help screen that gives you the basics of what you need to know, which is more than adequate to get you started. You begin by purchasing and placing a Gomphus somewhere on the playing field, just like any other tower defense game. Most of the action is controlled with the mouse; just click a Gomphus in the bottom panel to buy it and place it on the field. Tap [space] to cancel your purchase, and use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move around (or just drag the cursor to the edge of the map). There's only one type of Gomphus available to buy (which serves as the basic tower type), but that little brown mushroom can be upgraded and tweaked to provide many different abilities. These abilities are given to your Gomphus by adding different-colored gems to it, each gem representing an element (fire, water, earth, wind and thunder). A single gem only changes the Gomphus' attack to that element, which certain creeps are either resistant or susceptible to. But once you add a second or third gem, things really get interesting.

Different combinations of gems yield different kinds of attacks; you of course you have your obligatory "slowing" type of tower, but there are many others that perform really cool abilities like damage-over-time, splash damage and cash-stealing. There are even a few abilities I've never seen implemented in a tower defense game, and I'm a pretty big fanatic of this genre. But I won't spoil them; half the fun is discovering what effect you'll get from different gem combinations. The first level is more about exploration and learning than anything else, and it's where you'll discover most of the 20 different elemental combinations available. Thankfully, you can track what each gem combination yields by clicking the menu button and opening the "Combination List." You also get "accessories" to play with, which are little charm-looking objects you'll receive after you successfully complete every fifth wave of creeps. Each accessory has a specific function that can supplement a tower with things like increased range or a faster reload time. It's important to try and match accessories with towers that would benefit the most from their ability, since you can't swap them out.

Analysis: Mushroom Revolution is a great little casual game that's just as accessible to gamers who aren't fans of genre to those who are. The developer, Fortunacus, is no stranger to developing these kind of games and really nailed it with this release, finding that elusive median where lofty vision meets grounded playability. There are a few features that might be found bothersome, such as the inability to change gems and accessories, the high number of enemy waves in each level or the static zoom-level. Although you can spend points between levels on upgrades like higher damage and life, a few more options would have been nice. Most of these boil down to personal preference though, and don't really hinder the game experience. Personally, my biggest complaint is that Nintendo and this developer never met, because Mushroom Revolution would have made a great WiiWare game under the Super Mario Bros. franchise (just think Goombas instead of Gomphus, with a few other changes)!

Play Mushroom Revolution

32 Comments

a semi-formal list of tower types:

rbwyg
rb : poison
r w : double damage chance
r y : 30% cash bonus
r g : splash
bw : life/kill
b y : slow
b g : stun
wy : flamethrower
w g : confuse (move backwards)
yg : extra shot /4
rbw : life/hit
rb y : splash poison
rb g : splash damage
r wy : steal cash
r w g : triple damage chance
r yg : plant a bomb
bwy : sniper
bw g : instadeath
b yg : splash slow
wyg : teleport

A list of accessories:

Lightning Emblem: 10% to deal Max damage
Star Badge: 20% Level Up Discount
Angel Wing: +10% to Range
Burning Heart: +10% Attack Speed
Taurus: +10 to max damage
Four-Leaf Clover: +2% to probability-based effects
Angel Doll: Double Score Gained Every Enemy Defeated
Teardrop: Nullify Element Weakness
Golden Bell: Adds 2 seconds to event duration
Butcher Knife: 1% Chance to Deal 5x damage

Upgrade costs (and what they do):

You get 2 points for having beaten a level at bronze, 4 for silver, 6 for gold. (2/3/3 means 2 points for first upgrade, 3 for second, and 3 for third)
Add Random Starter Gem: 2/2/2 to upgrade.
Add Random Starter Accessory: 2/3/3 to upgrade.
Increase Wave Length: 3/4/5 to upgrade, adds 5 seconds (which means +$5/wave if you send the wave early)
Cash over time: 3/4/5 to upgrade, not sure how rapidly it adds cash
Increase Max Lives: 3/4/5 to upgrade, +25 lives. Note that lives at the end of each wave DOES increase your score.
Increased attack damage: 6/6/7 to upgrade, I think it does +5% damage, rounded UP.

I'm so glad to see this getting reviewed; I saw it on Kongregate a little while ago and I was instantly hooked. It's a great little game and a fun way to just zone out after a busy day of classes and errands!

I'm probably gonna wait until it gets some badges or card or something.

Looks like fun though.

Is it just me, or is this game quite difficult? I can't get past the second level. Any suggestions on how to spend my 6 points?

When I read about how you could beat most of level 1 with only two mushrooms, my mind was blown.

Nice graphics, but weird music that I'm not sure I like, and each level is too long. Starting over is less fun that way. As far as I know, the accessories system is random/unexplained, and that is kind of bothersome.

Yet it's strangely addicting.

nevermind my comment above, i was just putting my mushrooms in stupid places. :) this is fun!

Hmm, yes the graphics are neat, the combinations make variety and all that.

But since I took a little eternity to play even one leve, without much abilty to interruption/saving inbetween this is IMHO not actually a "casual" game...

I played this a while ago. The first level is too long, and the monster's elements don't make sense. Why does the fireball monster have a wind element while the rock has the water attribute?

It's not very ergonomic that I have to scroll around the playing field when only about a quarter of my available screen is actually used by the game.

There's a simpler version of this game under the name "Mushroom Farm Defender".

Less sound effects, two gem types, the accessories and only three maps to pick from. Is the one on Kongregate the original? Because one of them is undoubtedly a total rip of the other.

Passerby, did you... uh... read the review?

He explains that this is an improved sequel.

Passerby: I believe that Mushroom Defender and Mushroom Revolution were made by the same person, but don't hold me to that.

Reibear: You can turn the BGM off in the in-game menu.

As of this morning, there is a bonus 'Valentine Day' level, with the track in the shape of a heart - aaaaaaaah.

OK, so how do you get good scores on this game? I can get 2 skill points easily enough on each level but I am nowhere near getting 6. I have full lives at the end so get that bonus and I release monsters early to get that bonus. What else can I do?

MdB, unfortunately the only way to get a gold medal that I've found is the Angel Doll, one of the accessories. It provides 2x the score on units killed by one of your gomphuses.
How I handle this issue:

I buy at least 1 Random Starting Accessories, and restart the level until I start with an angel doll. Takes less time than beating the level twice. I've found that just one angel doll, especially on a pure gomphus that gets to level 6, can easily provide me a gold medal (the angel doll's easily worth a million extra points), even WITHOUT sending waves early (which provides significantly more money with 3 hearts in cash over time, and may provide more money with only 2).

The rate at which level one money over time gives you money is a little over 3 dollars every 5 seconds.

I am surprisingly addicted to this one.

I can't beat world 8, and I have all the upgrades... Any tips?

What I used to get through the first 8 worlds was the following basic setup:

I'd put one slow splash (BYG) in front and a few damage splashes (RGB) behind. I then would put a few pure blues around, but all in all I beat all the first few levels on the first try by using a slow splash and layering 3-4 towers behind it.

That said, I'm stuck on world 9 having tried a few different methods. I've tried with my basic strat above and then tried different pure version, but I can get to level wave 70, but wave 68 (at 8 lives each) kill me (dumb golems, just can't kill them).

So if anyone has any thoughts on level 9 I'd appreciate them.

Here's my strategy:

Use the "Restart until you get the Angel Doll as a random starter accessory" strategy if you've bought the random accessory upgrade at least once.

I put my first shroom somewhere not too close to the entrance and where it can cover two separate segments of path (i.e. where the path doubles back or crosses itself). I give this shroom the angel doll, upgrade it at least once, and give it a yellow and red gem so that it earns cash with each kill. I call this kind of shroom my "cash buffer". If it has the angel doll accessory, this kind of shroom will build up both your cash and your points very efficiently.

Next I try to put another cash buffer to cover somewhere further down the path, also where it can get good path coverage. Other good accessories for cash buffers are the ones that increase how much damage they can do.

Now when enemies are getting a little too strong to be killed in one or two hits, I build up a splash poison towards the entrance, then put a splash slow a little before it on the path, then a splash damage somewhere near those two, then a confuser or two slightly ahead of this group (I like to call it a "kill zone" :D). All the splash effects will weaken the creeps enough so that my cash buffers can once again kill in one or two shots.

For the rest of the game I usually play by ear, but normally I just put splashers and confusers along other parts of the path. Maybe a few pure-colored shrooms to be able to kill off the few creeps that manage to get closer to the exit than usual.

I also try to keep enemies poisoned as much as possible, and when I start losing lives I station several life stealers at places where the creeps tend to bunch up (i.e. around the splash slowers and confusers).

A sniper near the exit sometimes helps, especially when it can cover separate sections of path.

I'm only around world 5 or 6 right now, but this strategy has gotten me golds on my first try on several stages.

OH WOW it gets so much harder at world 8...

Finally beat it.

example

On last level, I first made a bunch of money steal towers, then when they started getting past those, made a whole line of teleports towards the end, but still where they could strafe both sides. Finally I made as many life steal as I could -- life was down to 6 at one point, but all those life steals got me back to 50 a few rounds later. The bonus that increases range, and the clover leaf are especially useful on the last level.

I used mostly the same strategy as JIGuest for the last levels, but here's an extra hint about the towers:

Start with only wealth towers, which gets you a lot of cash. Later on you can change some to money steal towers and other to splash poison or bomb plant (towards the end of the track). Also, make a lot of double damage towers, which you can upgrade to life steal later on.

What i do is make 2 wealth(RY)and Machine Gun(WY), one after another, and upgrade them to level 5. They kill ALL until after level 30... but after that, you need to add more! hope that helps alittle!

I cant seem to get the 30 instant deaths on Kong.. whats the best way to do that? i even tried knocking out the 3x damage towers all upgraded as fast as i could as early on as i could.. just wont register me more than 5.. ive got gold on all other levels.. i just cant get that stupid achievement!

help?

Instant death is an effect not a one hit kill, need a tower with b,w,g crystals.

I cant figure out where I can spend my points... where on the page can i do this?

Roxie--> From the main screen, click "Play" and you'll be brought to the "World Map" screen. At the bottom, it will list different options for you to choose from:
World Map * Upgrades * Help * Quit

Click on Upgrades. You can spend your points there. (They'll show up as little hearts each time you upgrade).

Hope that helps!

I was playing at BigFishGames, but they don't have an Upgrade option. I was getting so frustrated. Anydoodle, love the game.

The upgrade tabs ( at the bottom ) are on Big Fish, you just can't see them.

ahhhh.. I was playing the game through big fish games (online).. I have beaten all the levels with gold and still dont have the the bonus valentine level.. how do you get it??!!?!??

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