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Metareview: Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars


We've been raving about Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars for the best part of a year. Starved of a top-drawer platformer since Mario did his thing in oh-seven, hopes are high in these parts for Red Fly's platformer. The big question: can the gameplay match the undoubtedly stellar art design (as seen in the latest trailer above)? Let's copy and paste text to find out together:
  • Official Nintendo Magazine UK (86%) provides the most effusive review to date: "It'd have a Gold Award but for the camera. That aside, it's pretty wonderful." [Dec 2008, p.75]
  • Game Informer (58%) is less enamored (in its really, really short review): "Mushroom Men has a few things going for it, like cool characters and clever sound design. Unfortunately, none of the good stuff has any bearing on the gameplay, which is a total mess. The camera is awful, the level designs are boring, and combat is comprised of whipping the remote around and hoping that you hit something."
  • Nintendo Power (80%) found it to be vintage platforming fungi: "If you're hungry for some classic 3-D platforming, Mushroom Men is definitely worth checking out." [Holiday 2008, p.84]
  • 1UP (C) thinks it's just a pretty face, and is reminded of generic PS1 platformers (surely it's not as bad as Croc?): "The rich presentation fills out its role in the game just fine, but the core mechanics simply can't back it up. Visually intriguing environments break down to straightforward platforming and switch-flipping puzzles; inspired design rears its head every now and then, but -- by and large -- Mushroom Men's stages are anything but progressive, falling right alongside a forgotten swath of PS1 platformers."


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