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Considering that it's only the second game from a relatively untested team, it's a fantastic PC debut, and one that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other members of that aforementioned physics puzzler hall of fame.
It's rare for a puzzle game to be truly original, but Mushroom 11 can claim that accolade. It applies its originality in smartly traditional ways, employing 2D physics puzzles in a new style. It's glitchless, which is a rare treat, especially for a game that lets you break your blob into many parts and jam them in between rotating cogs and swinging platforms. It's one of the best puzzle games in a very long time.
Mushroom 11 is an elegant and innovative game that keeps surprising me. Though its central mechanics are impressive on their own, the entire game has been skillfully designed. It's easy to brush aside lofty claims, but Untame has delivered the distinctive gaming experience they promised and then some.
I will admit, it's tough for me to say that Mushroom 11 is a game for everyone. Still, fans of puzzles or platformers definitely owe it a look, and those who enjoy trying out new things are sure to find something here. Even outside of the genre, there's enough that's innovative and creative enough that I'd recommend taking a peek at the game's Steam page
Whether it's figuring out how to land on a platform so that, when it starts swinging, you don't get dumped into the acid below, or guiding a rocket up an angled shaft so it carries you to the plants above, or sacrificing a chunk of mass so that it can get fried carrying electricity from generator to door, Mushroom 11 demands each area be looked at with the lessons learned from previous sections. The wasteland of the corpse of civilization is not a forgiving place, but with a little care and a huge amount of perseverance, the fungus' journey may let it see what lies at the conclusion of the unforgettable journey of Mushroom 11.
Mushroom 11 is overflowing with an effectively grim atmosphere and some brilliantly original ideas. Although I do have some gripes with the tricky controls, the game ultimately offers a challenging physics-based experience that is enough to satisfy any fan of puzzle platformers.
There's not much else to Mushroom 11 beyond the core movement mechanic, but the game is confident in its limited scope. It allows the simple and innovate control scheme to take center stage, and though it requires both patience and practice, it contributes greatly to the novelty of the puzzle platformer experience. If players fall into a few lava pits along the way, so be it. At least an overwhelming sense of accomplishment awaits the green organism at the end of each chapter.
It is, by turns, silly and brutal—evoking both hand-slams of irritation and chuckles of defeat. The unexpected handful of boss fights in particular have an entertainingly wobbly randomness to them, like a battle in inflatable sumo-suits that were filled to the seams with helium. But it's also hard to love a game that, in its final stages, asks for a precision that you have little control of. What is easy to love about Mushroom 11 is its odd nihilistic bent.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear some may abandon it before finishing due to its difficulty, but I also wouldn't be amazed to see diehards pop up, going for the no-death and the 100 percent runs. For me, I'm totally happy with my single playthrough.
Mushroom 11 manages to be fun, despite its few shortcomings. While there are parts that may prevent a second playthrough due to a frustrating amount of trial-and-error, it still manages to be enjoyable most of the time it's on. At the end of the day, its interesting concept and relatively good execution carry it beyond its shortcomings, and make it one of the best puzzle-platformers to come out of the indie scene.
The developers at Untame should be proud and confident that they can build thorough and robust gameplay structures around their ideas. But the concept at the centre of Mushroom 11, I would implore, is not something they should return to.