Mushroom 11 is a strange and unique game that reshapes the way you think about its puzzles.
Both genuinely original and a smart physics puzzler, but aggravating in places, Mushroom 11 falls a few inches short of a classic.
Untame's experimental puzzle game pioneers a new style of interaction, layered onto a familiar premise, and finds gold among the ruins.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
Mushroom 11 is one of the weirdest games of the year. It's also one of the best.