Mushroom Mayhem, the new iOS game from independent developer RocketLife, aims to bring back the fun of classic arcade favorites like Galaga and Space Invaders. The game is already receiving five-star reviews on the App Store. One player wrote, “Love it! Brought back some good memories.”
As the game begins, Professor Frank Funguy is experimenting on mushrooms to make them bigger, bolder, and tastier. But something goes horribly wrong. The furious mushrooms shoot into outer space and begin attacking Earth. Playing as Professor Funguy, you jump into a rocket-powered microbus to defend the planet.
The controls are easy to learn: Drag your finger to move the bus, tap under it to fire, or hold down your finger for rapid fire. You’ll need quick reflexes and fast thinking to fight the mushrooms, which attack in increasingly fast and complex formations. Apple Game Center scoring powers a worldwide top-ten list to encourage competition.
App Apes awarded the game 8.5/10 for gameplay and 7.6 overall, praising its unique power-ups, such as the mushroom-munching Space Pig (reminiscent of Pac-Man). They add that the simple graphics “allow for much quicker shooting and enemy movement, which increase the challenge of the game. Nicest of all is that players can play one-handed, which allows the other hand to wipe sweat away from the brow during an intense boss fight.”
Another retro hat-tip arrives around level 42, when mushrooms mysteriously transform into blobs of radioactive glop. If you shoot the glop just right, you can deflect it into a barrel for safe disposal. (Back in the 1980s, Lead Programmer Randy Jongens worked on the Amiga version of one of the first computer basketball games, Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One on One. His inspiration for Mushroom Mayhem was to write a new game that tapped into that nostalgia.)
“What would it be like to create a game with yesterday’s gameplay mechanics?” Randy had wondered. “Just looking around, I saw several classic behaviors that could be used in a single game. Inspiration for the flow and some of the levels came from Space Invaders, Alien Rain, Galaga, and Gyruss. Nothing is a direct copy. It’s more of an homage to each gameplay element. The top-ten list is another old-school element.”
The music and sound effects are a blend of old and new as well, with power-ups based on warbling square waves and certain levels featuring chiptune-inspired soundtracks. Another retro bonus: The game is under 15 MB, including a free iMessage sticker pack, making it a fast download.
Mushroom Mayhem runs on iOS 10 or newer. It is a free download on the App Store. Developer RocketLife updates the game frequently with new features and has some fun plans for the future.
App Store Link