Game Design, Game Reviews

Mushroom Jumper is off to a good start

iconThe game I want to talk about today is called Mushroom Jumper. This is a children’s game in which farting mushrooms die in the most horrible, gruesome and painful ways possible.

Available on Google PlayFun times!

Mushroom Jumper is a fairly simple mobile game built for the Android system. In it, the player takes control of a mushroom with a huge, somewhat maniacal smile (see the icon above) that jumps vertically from one huge rotating mushroom head to the next, until it reaches the tallest height for that specific game level.

The game’s mechanics are pretty simple and straightforward, as you wait for the rotating head, you place your mushroom in a solid position to make the transition to the next head. However, you must also pay attention to the rotation of the head you’re trying to jump to, as the mushroom won’t simply glue to the next stage.

Follow the rotation

The jumping mushroom also has its own rotation pattern you must look for. If you make the jump (by tapping the screen) and the mushroom is in the proper position (head up, body down), you will send it flying straight up and give it a chance for a second, mid-air jump, propelled by the mushroom’s fart (at least that’s how it looks to me, maybe I’ve had a lousy childhood).

It will sometimes simply bounce off (or get slingshotted off) the head down below or like in most cases it won’t land on another head – it lands on the floor full of spikes.

shroom

The mushroom survived these spikes and is now treated for PTSD

Suddenly you’re no longer playing a child’s game, you’re watching a horrendous freak accident. The menacing smile on the poor mushroom is replaced with a face of sheer horror, and blood starts sprinkling everywhere.

The game is actually quite challenging: with the rotation of the heads you’re supposed to land on, and the rotation of your character, taking into consideration the physics of the game, as well as the ‘fart-jump’ (I’m totally copyrighting this word), getting to the top of the level is no easy task.

Depending on the speed of the jumps, as well as the number of jumps used in every level, a player can be awarded one, two or three stars (or in this case, mushrooms, obviously) for every level. Every world offers 15 levels of play, meaning you’re in for many hours of playtime.

The game lacks depth

In terms of social integration, as well as any in-game economy based on achievements or in-game purchases which might give the game another layer of depth, the game unfortunately falls a bit short. The game has all the space in the world to move in that direction and I’d love to see additional options in the game.

With a game based on jumping, it’s easy to implement perhaps coin collecting in mid-air, or bonus points at the end of every level which could then be traded for various boosts. Cosmetic changes could also be implemented, changing the looks of the mushroom, or maybe even adding additional death animations, something hilarious like we’ve seen in Mortal Kombat.

Unfortunately, Mushroom Jumper doesn’t feel like a finished product. It is an awesome start and shows great promise, but much work still needs to be done. That would include background music to accompany the currently lonely sound effects. An in-game economy with boosts and power-ups would also be a good bonus, and with a couple of cosmetic options and hilarious death animations, this could very easily become the next QWOP game.

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