Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi Review
Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Red Fly Studio 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Gamecock Media Group 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 2, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Tapping the screen to fire a makeshift crossbow isn't too bad, at least until you factor in that you are also jumping around for your life while doing so. The same goes for spore powers, although they are even more difficult to use, requiring you to draw specific shapes on the screen while trying to avoid death.

Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot

These are just a few examples of how cumbersome controlling this game actually is. Because of some extremely poor design choices, almost everything in this game is more difficult and annoying than it should be. Players will need to use buttons to move, jump, attack, and block but will need to use the stylus and the touch screen for everything else. The game's many menus and dialogue exchanges can't be navigated through using buttons. Want to make or equip a different weapon? First you'll need to tap an icon with your stylus, tap another to swap the top screen with the bottom, find and drag whichever weapon you desire to your character's hand, and then tap the icon to swap the screens again. It's so amazingly awkward and unwieldy having to constantly switch between using buttons, stylus taps, and even swapping screens endlessly (note the game doesn't pause during this either) that it is hard to imagine that this is how the game is actually supposed to work.

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However, even though the controls and gameplay are basically broken, the game isn't entirely without merit. The scav system found in The Spore Wars is included in Rise of the Fungi, allowing you to create makeshift weapons from random items you'll find during your travels such as sticks or broken glass. While it isn't incredibly deep, it does manage to create some variety in your available weaponry. The story in the game is, surprisingly, quite decent, chronicling the emergence of different factions of newly formed mushroom men and their struggles for dominance/peace. The quirky and offbeat world created in this title is also perfectly paired with this game's strange, yet incredibly satisfying soundtrack. If only the game didn't play so terribly, this could have been a great experience to go along with its console counterpart. Unfortunately, the potentially enjoyable aspects of Rise of the Fungi are far outweighed by poor decisions, clunky controls, and constant frustrations.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.7
Graphics
Rise of the Fungi doesn't look bad for a DS game but its relative darkness and difficult to distinguish platforms make playing needlessly annoying.
1.5
Control
Poor hit detection, constant stylus/button control switching, awkward screen swapping and menu navigation, a poor camera, and an iffy grappling hook make playing through this game beyond frustrating.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
If nothing else, the music is very well done and fits the funky vibe that exudes from this title.
1.8

Play Value
While there is a decent amount of content in the game, its pervasive issues will keep you from enjoying almost all of it.

2.0
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Players explore and battle their way through more than 10 lush and spooky levels in an oversized and hostile world.
  • Convert everyday items and trash you find into weapons using the stylus and the Scav system.
  • Choose from three different characters classes to do battle: Heavy, Sage, and Scout.
  • Experience two different game styles - a fast paced single-player adventure, or team up with a friend in Cooperative mode.
  • Wipe out your enemies with unique, spore-based powers.
  • Serves as a prequel to Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars on Wii.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi screenshot - click to enlarge

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