Fun times with the Fungi.
Mushroom Wars 2 brings real-time strategy to the Nintendo Switch. You control armies of mushrooms and attempt to conquer enemy fungi in various ways, from taking the Mongol approach of conquering everything to capturing certain points on the map and holding them to reach score limits. There’s a surprising variety to the way in which mushrooms wage war.
All your armies are raised from little mushroom bases, and as time passes your army size grows. You, being the fearless leader you are, then get to send the killer mushrooms to launch an attack on another base on the map. It starts off simple, factoring in the army sizes only; the larger army wins and takes the base, but as the game progresses other factors such as morale and stat boosts start to have an impact on fights. The game eases you into these concepts and even manages to provide interesting scenarios requiring you take advantage of all these factors.
For example, an early level introduces forges which provide stat boosts to your armies. Capturing these can very quickly turn the tide of a battle, as suddenly your armies become more efficient and can overturn a numerical deficit. Learning the maps and how best to manoeuvre your army is the key to any level – knowing when to stick on the defensive with enemies approaching and when to launch a counter on a weakened base, and then executing it, is satisfying to pull off. It’s akin to a game of chess as you start thinking several moves ahead about how to break down the enemies defence.
There are even stages with their own unique hazards. The first boss-type level has a frog in the centre of the stage. Any mushrooms charging past will be eaten, forcing you to compensate the numbers in certain spots to make sure your army is still strong enough to continue the battle. Small changes like these help keep the formula from getting too stale as you’re forced to readjust how you’d approach any given situation to face the new threat.
Content-wise, the game provides two campaigns to play through and with multiple difficulties for each stage there’s plenty to keep you busy. The story for each campaign is told through short vignettes with no narration, and the art style is wonderful. Despite the overly simplistic story, its still a joy to see these cut-scenes.
Once you’ve mastered the campaigns you can take your skills online or play against bots on dozens of maps. There’s a bunch of replay value, but it all comes back to the same core gameplay loop. If you were looking for something different to freshen the palette outside of the campaign, unfortunately you wont find it here.
Mushroom Wars 2 delivers a fun, simple take on real-time strategy for Switch users to enjoy. Despite a simple story, there’s plenty of fun to be had, from mulling over tactics for beating a stage to coming across new base types that alter the way you approach a game. Mushroom Wars 2 does a good job of trying to keep things fresh, and for its ease of access it’s easy to recommend to folks looking for a smaller strategy title.