Mushroom 11 deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Portal, World of Goo and super-clever, mechanically-driven games. There’s nothing else like it. It’s hard to even imagine how such a wonderfully bizarre idea came into existence.

Like all good physics games. Mushroom 11 challenges players to solve the Rube Goldberg-ian logic of its environments with the special abilities that the game grants you. In Portal, it was a teleport gun. In World of Goo, it was a bunch of little blobs. Here, it’s a regenerating fungus. Some things—like the empty post-apocalyptic landscape and trying to nab collectibles—will feel familiar about Untame’s physics-based platformer. But, after playing Mushroom 11’s main character and mode of movement are straight out of an alternate game design dimension. Players control a gelatinous blob of fungus by erasing parts of its mass. Use the mouse to swipe the eraser down one side and you nudge it the other way.

The goal of the game is slide and squish your way across seven levels and you’ll need to open doors, cross gaps and trigger locking mechanisms to do so. Accomplishing those feats without hands or feet isn’t impossible in Mushroom 11 but it does require an altogether unique way of thinking. You can see me tackle of bunch of different challenges in the video below.

The game largely eliminates the need for quick movement, but doubles down as far as precision is concerned. There are times where you’re tasked to cover ground quickly but the instances where you need to wrap your fungus around a crucial corner or crevice are more prevalent.

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What makes Mushroom 11 so seductive is an exquisite mix of randomness and control: you don’t know quite in which directions the moldy blob will squish out next but, as you wipe the mouse back and forth, you’ll develop an intuitive sense of how the thing moves. Even though, it’s been in development for four years, Mushroom 11 is one of those games that seemingly comes out of nowhere to reconfigure our collective ideas about what it means to move in a video game environment.


Contact the author at evan@kotaku.com.