SuperMushrooms ($0.99) by gameday Inc. has borrowed quite a few concepts from Plants vs. Zombies, which is disappointing because it has innovative gameplay that would have made it a unique game had it not blatantly copied a lot of the PvZ elements.
Graphically, it looks a lot like PopCap’s ultra popular lane defense game, except it uses mushrooms and bacteria rather than plants and zombies. Conceptually, you’re fighting off the bacteria that are trying to enter your house through your yard, using mushrooms for defense.
Like Plants vs. Zombies, Super Mushrooms is a lane defense, so you’ll arrange your fungi linearly in order to make a barrier for bacteria. However, this game also incorporates pinball elements, and your final line of defense is your wooden fence, aka pinball paddles.
The paddles are controlled by tapping on the screen, and these controls work well. They’re responsive and easy to use, so as long as you’re vigilant about tapping at the right time, bacteria won’t make it past your fence.
Bacteria are deposited on the screen from pipes at the top, and proceed to bounce downwards, hitting the mushroom bumpers on the way. Bacteria don’t die in one hit, and instead you will have to propel them upwards again as in a pinball game, bouncing them off of damaging mushrooms until the bacteria are eliminated.
When you begin the game, you will only have access to a single type of damaging mushroom, but as the game progresses, you will be able to unlock more mushroom types using the golden mushrooms that are earned when you finish a level. The same goes for bacteria – you start with one, but later you till have more types to fight, including zombie bacteria, heart bacteria, and speedy bacteria.
You can earn three golden mushrooms per level, so long as no bacteria get through your defenses. You will also earn coins, which are used to upgrade your mushrooms and to upgrade your house.
The pinball style gameplay is fun, but it does quickly get repetitive. There are so many levels (more than 100) that even with the introduction of new types of mushrooms and bacteria, you’re constantly doing the same thing over and over.
I was generally impressed with the graphics, but it was hard to stomach a game so stylistically similar to PvZ. I wish the developers had gone in a more original direction, but overall, Super Mushrooms has fun gameplay that’s sure to delight fans of both pinball and Plants vs. Zombies as long as you can get over the copycat style.