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Mushroom Hunt

by Polyducks

2019

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

By exploring your surroundings you will discover not only the mushrooms needed to help Granny make her stew, but information about your life.

Game Details

First Publication Date: September 21, 2019
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Adventuron
IFID: Unknown
TUID: z96zem3qtwu9qrfn

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Gorgeous Retro-Romp, January 29, 2020
by Lance Campbell (United States)
Adventuron is a relatively new online IF authoring tool, created by Chris Ainsley, designed to develop old-school 8-bit parser games.

Ben Jones (aka Polyducks) is a talented programmer, writer, and digital artist who works primarily in the restricted mediums of textmode and pixelart.

Put them together and you get Mushroom Hunt, a gorgeous retro-romp that was cranked out in less than a month for the 2019 Adventuron CaveJam.

This game clearly demonstrates that constraints on an artform cultivate creativity. Although the scope of the game is limited, all of the elements are well-crafted, and provide a sense of warmth and childlike wonder. The story is simple, yet has a satisfying emotional depth that is gradually revealed as the player explores the world. The graphics, which are all textmode -- making this game, technically, a pure text-based work -- look like they were digitized from a Victorian Fairy Tale. Even in the face of failure, the hint system at the end of the playthrough provides gentle parental nudges in the right direction. I haven't experienced a narrative this nurturing since I played my last Ryan Veeder game.

My only regret is, being a jam game, Mushroom Hunt ended much too quickly for me. Specifically, (Spoiler - click to show)the inability to explore the village beyond the metal gate was a disappointment. Regardless, I imagine we will be seeing more great work from this author and artist soon enough, and I look forward to whatever comes next.

Treasure hunt with a vaguely sinister/fairy tale feel, January 5, 2020
Disclaimer: I haven't finished this game yet, I've only gotten 3 endings.

The basic premise is that you're walking through the forest trying to find mushrooms for soup. Commands are fairly limited. The more you look around, the more the story develops. The way the game reveals information feels organic.

The art is SO lovely and really helps build the atmosphere of the game.

Some endings contain hints, so it's helpful to play through multiple times.

It would be nice if commands that don't work had more custom responses. For instance, the commands "smell" and "listen" only work in certain places. Everywhere else I've tried them so far, the game says "You can't do that." If I try to pick up certain items in the room description (eg, flowers), I get "You can't find it." Not everything has to have its own response, but it would be good to assign commands a default response that fit the situation better ("you don't smell anything interesting" instead of "you can't do that").

It would also be good if the game recognized things like vine/vines as the same, or if it understood things like "pile" to mean "pile of rusty junk."

(Edit: I missed the first time that this was made in a short period! All of these little things are really understandable in that case, and major props to the author for making such a fleshed out game in a short amount of time)

Overall, this is a really fun game, and I'm interested to try to unlock more endings. Hope we see more out of this author!

A wonderfully charming illustrated adventure, January 5, 2020
Written in a surprisingly short amount of time as an entry for a game jam, this charming text adventure impresses for several reasons, not least in the visual department. Almost chiselled like a woodcut, out of digital blocks, these illustrations are the first thing that wow you upon loading the game.

But the beauty of the adventure is more than skin deep. The mundane-sounding collection task unearths not just mushrooms, but also details of the main character's life and her relationship with her family. Each playthrough ends with some hints of what secrets you may have missed. There are many mysteries to discover, and a lovely little Easter egg that's hidden well away (one that will delight fans of old school games and calls back to another, very different sort of hunt).

There are a few niggles and issues with the game. The order in which you examine and complete tasks is very important and, if you're not careful, can lead you to missing triggers that allow you to discover further secrets. Some of the final mushrooms are particularly difficult to spot.

Any shortcomings in the parser department can be chalked up to the fact that this was the author's first experience with the Adventuron system. The fact that they produced such a polished, impressive game, of such high standard in a few weeks speaks not only to the ease of use of the game creation tool but also to the skill and talent of the author.

I look forward to seeing what they produce next.

If you enjoyed Mushroom Hunt...

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This is version 1 of this page, edited by Gareth Pitchford on 3 January 2020 at 7:57am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item