Mushroom Wars 2 is the sequel to the popular 2009 RTS, and it gives you more of the same with some new twists and upgrades. You take control of one of three types of mushroom "races", and then get to work producing troops, upgrading buildings and destroying all mushrooms who oppose you. There is a pretty bare-bones story running through the campaign, but it has ton of missions and, of course, the real meat is in the multiplayer. The Multiplayer maps involve three types of game modes, Conquest, Domination, and King of the Hill, while Custom games allow you to pick and chose which of these you'll run into.
The Story and Flow:
There isn't much of a story to Mushroom Wars 2, but I will give it my best shot. As far as I can tell, a massive explosion happened on earth and now there are sentient mushrooms running around with a serious case of blood-lust. And if that wasn't bad (or good?) enough, suddenly, magic mushrooms happened! Then alien mushrooms arrived! My god, the fungi related horror! In all seriousness, that is pretty much the plot, but there is some background as to why anthropomorphic fungi are roaming a human-less planet. Cuz, you know, explosions. You do get a bit more story via the cutscenes that are sprinkled throughout the campaign, but by and large, all you need to know is that there are sentient mushrooms waging war on each other and they are brutal, super cute, little devils.
The game has 3 modes, Campaign, Multiplayer, and Custom. The Campaign Mode is made up of 2 episodes with almost 400 levels of play between them. The campaign introduces you to the gameplay, and the mechanics of the game are very simple to grasp. You generate troops from your mushroom huts, manage your village, then you attempt to use said units to conquer enemy bases. The campaign builds slowly, but by the 4th mission or so, you quickly learn some tricks and tactics, like sending in backup troops to defend your own bases, so your enemy doesn't just waltz in and finish you without a fight.
As you progress, the game gets more complex, and the action never really stops. You have to constantly be doing something, and if you sit on your laurels, you're going to get wrecked. Knowing how many troops to send into a battle, when to upgrade a building, and when to let your opponent take one of your strongholds in order to preserve your troops for later battles are all crucial actions to juggle and make decisions about. Just when you get the hang of it, Mushroom Wars 2 introduces Heroes, which adds an additional layer of strategy and tactical thinking. Each hero has a special set of skills that you can deploy in battle, and when used correctly, they can change the tide of a given battle, much like in Warcraft 3.
In addition to your upgradeable villages, you can also build and upgrade other structures as well. Towers can be acquired and used to damage enemy troops that are within its attack radius, while Forges boost your attack and defense, so the more you have, the better you'll fare in battle.
The art-style in this game is bright and pretty. It looks like the battlefields are hand painted, and there is an incredible amount of detail and care in the visuals, mixed with pixelated-style buildings and units that really complements the overall art-style. The game is beautiful to look at and I never had an issue discerning which side belonged to who even in the heat of big battles, thanks to the troop indicator. Overall, the visuals are cutesy, cartoony and rather charming.
The music is appropriately upbeat, almost tribal, and very catchy. Battle themes, the menu music and the sound effects feel very organic and fit the game well. The music kind of reminds me of the Ewoks from Star Wars, if that makes sense, and I never got tired of the tunes, even after playing through the whole campaign.