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Mushroom Men Attack Giant Bomb!

Ryan gets funky with fungus with his first look at Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars.

Mushroom mayhem!
Of the handful of games that indie publisher Gamecock unveiled upon its initial launch, Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars was of most immediate interest to me, largely because of the game's striking concept art. The look was gloomy-yet-playful, but without the self-serious Tim Burton pretense. I hadn't heard much about the game following its initial announcement, but upon recently learning that Les Claypool of Primus would be providing some of the music in the game, my interest was renewed. The Gamecock guys rolled through the Giant Bomb offices yesterday, and in between beers, they gave me my first actual look at this Wii title.

There's a hint of 1950s sci-fi influence throughout Mushroom Men, starting with its story, which sees mushrooms and other lower life forms gaining sentience and some anthropomorphic qualities in the wake of a passing comet. While humans are oblivious to this development, the mushrooms start forming tribes, which leads to conflict between the different fungal factions. This is where you, as a mushroom man named Pax, come in.

As bizarre as it might sound to play as a newly self-aware mushroom, the gameplay doesn't seem quite as out-there. This is a third-person action adventure game that will feature what appears to be a fairly even blend of simple combat, platforming, and environmental puzzle-solving. You can flick the Wii remote about to perform some three-hit combo attacks, though what's most interesting about the combat is the weapons you'll arm Pax with. As you explore your environments, you'll collect all variety of human-made junk, from dog collars to razor blades, that you can combine in different ways. As a clever little nod, your starting weapon will be a DS stylus. Combine that with, say, a wad of gum and a thimble, and you've got yourself a decent weapon to bludgeon unfriendly spiders with.

The level I spent the most time exploring involved a sprawling kudzu vine being attacked by a pack of ruthless rabbits. A mushroom man on his own might not stand a chance in a head-on fight with a bloodshot bunny, so it's a good thing that Pax also has some telekinetic powers that he can use to manipulate specific objects in the environment. Using this skill I was able to dispatch the bunnies by knocking over a box fan, rolling a bowling ball off a high ledge, and dropping some weights onto them. Gamecock is aiming for a sub-T-for-Teen rating with Mushroom Men, though there's little question that the fates of these bunnies were permanent.

There's a fungus among us.
What I played of Mushroom Men felt competent, if a little familiar, but I think what's really going to make or break this game is how well it realizes the atmosphere established by that initial concept art. Being on the Wii, I had no illusions that the game would match that level of fidelity, but it still evokes a dark and fuzzy feel, they way a game about fungi ought to. Still, the Gamecock guys wanted to be clear that developer Red Fly is still working hard on fine-tuning the game's visuals. It was much easier to appreciate Mushroom Men's soundtrack at this point in development, and Les Claypool's brand of pinched, backwoods peculiarity seems like an excellent fit.

While the Gamecock guys stressed that they really felt this was a good match for a Nintendo console--a point I kind of agree with--they also didn't rule out the possibility of bringing the game to platforms like the Xbox 360. The game doesn't appear to do anything so radical with the Wii controls that it couldn't be handled by a standard gamepad, and I know I'd certainly like to see some of this game's assets presented at a higher resolution.

After the demo, Gamecock CEO Mike Wilson also gave us a sneak peek at an upcoming trailer for Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for the DS, which will be an entirely different game from its Wii counterpart. From the trailer, it seemed that Rise of the Fungi maintained the same look and feel as The Spore Wars, sporting some good-for-the-DS polygonal graphics, though the action looked strictly 2D. I see some good potential in both of these titles, and will be curious to see how they turn out with a little more time in a dark, humid room.
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Posted by Ryan
Mushroom mayhem!
Of the handful of games that indie publisher Gamecock unveiled upon its initial launch, Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars was of most immediate interest to me, largely because of the game's striking concept art. The look was gloomy-yet-playful, but without the self-serious Tim Burton pretense. I hadn't heard much about the game following its initial announcement, but upon recently learning that Les Claypool of Primus would be providing some of the music in the game, my interest was renewed. The Gamecock guys rolled through the Giant Bomb offices yesterday, and in between beers, they gave me my first actual look at this Wii title.

There's a hint of 1950s sci-fi influence throughout Mushroom Men, starting with its story, which sees mushrooms and other lower life forms gaining sentience and some anthropomorphic qualities in the wake of a passing comet. While humans are oblivious to this development, the mushrooms start forming tribes, which leads to conflict between the different fungal factions. This is where you, as a mushroom man named Pax, come in.

As bizarre as it might sound to play as a newly self-aware mushroom, the gameplay doesn't seem quite as out-there. This is a third-person action adventure game that will feature what appears to be a fairly even blend of simple combat, platforming, and environmental puzzle-solving. You can flick the Wii remote about to perform some three-hit combo attacks, though what's most interesting about the combat is the weapons you'll arm Pax with. As you explore your environments, you'll collect all variety of human-made junk, from dog collars to razor blades, that you can combine in different ways. As a clever little nod, your starting weapon will be a DS stylus. Combine that with, say, a wad of gum and a thimble, and you've got yourself a decent weapon to bludgeon unfriendly spiders with.

The level I spent the most time exploring involved a sprawling kudzu vine being attacked by a pack of ruthless rabbits. A mushroom man on his own might not stand a chance in a head-on fight with a bloodshot bunny, so it's a good thing that Pax also has some telekinetic powers that he can use to manipulate specific objects in the environment. Using this skill I was able to dispatch the bunnies by knocking over a box fan, rolling a bowling ball off a high ledge, and dropping some weights onto them. Gamecock is aiming for a sub-T-for-Teen rating with Mushroom Men, though there's little question that the fates of these bunnies were permanent.

There's a fungus among us.
What I played of Mushroom Men felt competent, if a little familiar, but I think what's really going to make or break this game is how well it realizes the atmosphere established by that initial concept art. Being on the Wii, I had no illusions that the game would match that level of fidelity, but it still evokes a dark and fuzzy feel, they way a game about fungi ought to. Still, the Gamecock guys wanted to be clear that developer Red Fly is still working hard on fine-tuning the game's visuals. It was much easier to appreciate Mushroom Men's soundtrack at this point in development, and Les Claypool's brand of pinched, backwoods peculiarity seems like an excellent fit.

While the Gamecock guys stressed that they really felt this was a good match for a Nintendo console--a point I kind of agree with--they also didn't rule out the possibility of bringing the game to platforms like the Xbox 360. The game doesn't appear to do anything so radical with the Wii controls that it couldn't be handled by a standard gamepad, and I know I'd certainly like to see some of this game's assets presented at a higher resolution.

After the demo, Gamecock CEO Mike Wilson also gave us a sneak peek at an upcoming trailer for Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for the DS, which will be an entirely different game from its Wii counterpart. From the trailer, it seemed that Rise of the Fungi maintained the same look and feel as The Spore Wars, sporting some good-for-the-DS polygonal graphics, though the action looked strictly 2D. I see some good potential in both of these titles, and will be curious to see how they turn out with a little more time in a dark, humid room.
Staff
Posted by KillaMaStA

Dude, the wii?

I just lost all intrest in this game

Posted by Claude

I want to be a fungi.

Posted by RedSox8933

looks pretty cool, but i don't think i'll be getting it. too many blockbusters coming out this year.

Posted by Endogene

i dont know what to think of it really
ill definitely try it out though

Posted by FLStyle

I've always said if I created a gaming company I'd name it after a penis, looks like these guys beat me to it, oh well.

Posted by fitzer101

I have no idea what's going on...

Posted by BaconGames

I always like Mushroom Men, glad to see it's still alive.

Posted by FengShuiGod

Looks like it has potential. I hope it delivers.

Posted by deaux

I think the DS game might be more fun.  I've had my fill of simple 3d action, but 2d still does it for me...sometimes.

Was this the first visit to GB by a publisher?  The first of many, I expect.

Posted by RHCPfan24

I have had an interest in this game for awhile, it looks nice.  Great picture on the homepage btw.

Posted by Luchadeer

I really love the art for it... I might try it but i probably wont buy it

Posted by predator

Dude, the wii?

I am very interested in this now.

Posted by Legend

It has been a while since you posted something, Ryan. :) This looks like a three-star game to me.

Posted by MiamiRedHawks

I've been following the development of this game for awhile. I watched a demo of it being played somewhere and was pretty impressed with the art and the environments.

Posted by zityz

looks interesting.

Seams like another 3rd party title that will be decent that no one will buy.

Posted by calf_exercises

This game has charector, therefor I am in!

Posted by OptimusPrime

I don't want to use profanity, so I won't. but..... !*%& GameCock!!!!   It would be an understatement to say I wish their company would go down in a horrible flame, that is usually only reserved for Majesco and Atari (as a publisher).  Ever since their interruption of Ken Levine at that award show that no one watches or respects.  They have really gotten on my nerves.  I don't like thier name, thier message, or their games.  I wonder to this day how they even had the funding to begin their reign of terror. 

Posted by predator

But Gamecock is publishing Croteam's new games, they will be awesome.
Besides, they apologized for the Ken Levine incident.

Posted by Systech

I wish it wasn't on the Wii because it seems like a pretty traditional platformer. Also, it's necessary for a game like this to look beautiful. Great game idea and I really hope it turns out better than Hail to the Chimp.

Posted by BiggerBomb

This looks pretty cool, but as systech says it has to have a very distinguished and beautiful art style. Okami would be nothing without it's soft water color, hand painted asthetic.

Hopefully this will turn out to be the next big action/adventure platformer for the Wii. I can never get enough of those.

Posted by boxman

ill try it  maybe even buy

Posted by Dante_the_Jedi

Mushrooms make men do crazy things.....so men made out if Mushrooms must be always crazy.....I AM SOLD!

Posted by PureRok

Sounds pretty interesting. I think I may have to pick it up when it's out.

Posted by Erdie

I'll certainly keep an eye on Rise of the Fungi, though I can't help thinking they should have gone with the PSP since they're using polygons.  Oh well, I hope it's fun.

Posted by TheGTAvaccine

I've been following this for a little bit, looks good.

Posted by MisterMouse

This is pretty cool, and what interests me the most will be how many combinations of weapons will there be, and what the best weapon will look like, hopefully it does well.

Posted by Metal_Mills

The art design is nice. Shame about the god awful name. It sounds like kiddy shovelware.

Posted by NormanOfTorn

Mushroom Men looks alright but there are too many great looking games coming out this year.  I'll probably pass.

Posted by tpa151

I didn't know about this game until now and it looks really interesting.  Thanks for featuring it.

It kind of reminds me a bit of Psychonauts.  Hopefully, it'll play just as well but get a bit more attention than Psychonauts.

Posted by Kohe321

Looks pretty awesome...

Posted by Kowalski

They have been working on these games for so long. They aren't going to deliver. The art and overall graphics sucks ass and the game looks like a bland license game type deal. Uuhg. About a year ago I had some hopes for this game. It's too late.

Posted by MrKlorox

"I see some good potential in both of these titles, and will be curious to see how they turn out with a little more time in a dark, humid room."

Nice way to wrap it up.

Posted by TadThuggish

I don't think I'll even consider this because of interrupting the Bioshock award.

Also, Gamecock has not put out a single good game yet, so it's not a great track record.

Posted by Arkthemaniac

I think it'll be sweet. Primus sucks.

Posted by Jay4321

This game looks interesting.

Posted by albedos_shadow

The concept could sell me on the game, depending on if the controls suck or not.

Posted by Liquid306

I really hope there is an option to eat mushrooms in this game.  Maybe an Easter egg or something.

Posted by ScionofEntropy

Wow, this actually got me interested in the game. I'll have to keep an eye out for this.

Posted by zitosilva

I've been waiting for this game for a while. I hope it doesn't suck.

Posted by Milkman

Gamecock looked so promising when they first formed but after Fury and Hail to the Chimp, I think I'm just about ready to give up hope on them.

Posted by Abomstar

Damn, I forgot I wanted this game (mostly because of Claypool.) Too bad I sold the Wii.

Seems like a very solid platformer.

Posted by Mexalen

Would be nice to see that on the 360 as well. I like that backstory :)

Oh, and Ryan - thanks for that caption. I'll try and get "There's a fungus among us" stuck in other peoples minds too...

Posted by makari

Looks, as they say, serviceable. I'm more interested in the soundtrack, tbh. Primus sucks.

Posted by Steve_C

Looks interesting. Let's hope it delivers. The wii needs more quality titles.

Posted by ProfessorEss

Between the art style and Claypool's music I'll put this in my "must see" list.

Be at a friend's house on a Wii or hopefully in the comfort of my own home on one of the other systems.

Posted by mankco

looks pants

Posted by Rmack

Original Claypool music???

Soundtrack, PLEASE.

Posted by PLWolf

Sweet!! I need something besides Wii Fit to play on my Wii anyway. lol

Posted by Thunder

it sounds kinda stupid to me

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