Simple games that put the player in complex situations often provide the best experiences. Looking back, it’s puzzle platformers like Braid and Limbo that have done an excellent job of exhibiting this balance. Last night at the Indie Games Live meet-up at PAX East, Untame showed us that Mushroom 11 is next in this prestigious line of games.
Imagine squeezing toothpaste through a tube; then that tube splits into two paths; then there’s a switch that needs to be pressed to open a door at the end of one path; then there’s a lava pit that you have to navigate your ooze through; then there’s a fireball-spitting plant to get by. In short, this is Mushroom 11’s premise. The player controls a white circle that destroys and creates parts of a green mushroom in order to guide it through a level. This “point and click” mechanic is simple, but delivers a unique spin on the puzzle platforming genre that offers the player a more tactile experience than either Braid or Limbo have offered.
Mushroom 11 is aesthetically dark and creates a sense of impending doom. This worked brilliantly to build tension and a sense of urgency as I guided my green blob through collapsing buildings and over pits of lava. The devil is in the details, as they say.
Untame kept it low key at PAX this year since most of the team was still at GDC, and they did not have a booth on the show floor. But thanks to their showing at Indie Games Live, I’m pretty sure Mushroom 11 is one of the best things I’ve played all weekend. Definitely keep an eye on this puzzle platform as Untame completes development.