Mushroom Heroes review for PS4, PS Vita, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PS4, PC, Switch
Publisher: Hidden Trap
Developer: Hidden Trap
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

The problem with Mushroom Heroes isn’t that it’s bad. It’s that it’s broken.

See, the game — or, at least, what I could play of it — was undeniably fun. It’s a single-player co-op platformer, where you have three sentient mushrooms at your disposal, each with a different skill. You need to switch between the mushrooms to get through all kinds of puzzles, whether it’s using one mushroom’s bow and arrow, or another’s ability to push blocks, or the third’s ability to jump and glide. The levels are somewhat varied, and from what I saw they generally push you just enough to be challenging, without ever seeming impossible.

All of that is great. What’s not great is the fact the game is ruined by technical glitches. Or, to be more precise, one (singular) technical glitch.

See, Mushroom Heroes apparently has 38 levels. I say apparently because I was only able to play 13 of them. I started the 14th, had to quit the game, and when I came back I discovered that there was no way to access anything beyond the first page of the level select screen. There was an “R” symbol on the right side of the screen, taunting me, suggesting that if I just changed pages I could see the next page of levels, but the only way to access it would be to replay level 13 and click “Next” at the end of that level. If you go back to the main menu, you’re stuck at the first screen eternally..

Of course, replaying level 13 to get to the rest of the game also means no quitting the game at all between level 13 and level 38, unless I wanted to start over at level 13 again. And I’m sorry, you can question my commitment to being an even-handed reviewer if you like, but no matter how enjoyable Mushroom Heroes was for those first 13 levels, there was no way I had any appetite to play 26 levels in one go.

In part, this would also be because of the game’s more minor technical flaw: it’s pretty prone to slowdown. It doesn’t matter how little action there is on the screen, it’s fairly common here to have everything slow to a crawl as the eponymous heroes do crazy things like moving from left to right.

But that would be forgivable if Mushroom Heroes was otherwise a good game — and by “good,” I mean “fully playable.” If it were (or if it gets patched after this review is written), it would definitely be worth recommending to puzzle platformer fans, but in this state, it’s just a game that needs to be avoided.

Hidden Trap provided us with a Mushroom Heroes PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: D