The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Mobile game Legend of Mushroom: cash-grab or enjoyable pastime?

In late February, I stumbled upon the game Legend of Mushroom because of its persistent advertising on TikTok. Initially finding the echoes of “three thousand free draws” and “eighty thousand downloads despite the game not being out yet” a hindrance, I eventually gave in and pre-registered for the game. 


When the game released on March 7, my first impression was that the app icon was rather cute. Themed with warm colors of red and yellow mixed with the neutral green of the mushroom’s cap, it consists of a little cape-wearing mushroom holding a sword, wearing a crown and looking onward to battle. The bright colors paired with the simplicity of the artwork really draws people in.


What surprised me was that it is an AFK game—which means that the game automatically generates income and rewards for you, even when you’re not online. As you’d expect, this makes these kinds of games particularly popular among the busy. Unfortunately, this means they sacrifice interactivity for convenience, making them monotonous and slightly less fun for me, but that’s just personal preference. 


Being an AFK game, it lacks story. The premise is that you are a country-bumpkin mushroom fighting to become stronger to protect its village, with your enemies getting increasingly stronger as you fight. To me, it sounds like a typical cliche martial arts strengthening story. 


Another thing that surprised me was the low quality of the graphics. Considering the quality of the ads, I thought they’d be of relatively high quality, but I was proven wrong soon after I began playing. Think of it as 720p in Youtube—it’s watchable, but not HD. This means the game runs more smoothly, with less pressure put to maintain quality, but the experience is lowered significantly.


Opening the app for the first time and finally making it past the loading screen, I was greeted by a character drawn in chibi-style who was proclaimed “Lamp Goddess.” Lamp Goddess, with lilac white hair lightly covered in a veil, adorned with gold accessories, would then guide me through the game, granting a brief tutorial. The tutorial was helpful, but I’d imagine you could manage even without it.


Through her speech bubbles, I learned that the “Magic Lamp” located at the bottom of the screen is for obtaining equipment for my mushroom character. It was an easy but tedious task, tapping repetitively. Soon enough, I became addicted to obtaining equipment for my mushroom–not for aesthetic purposes though, more to get stronger. I’d say the design of the equipment is average overall for this type of game. Not that it wasn’t fun customizing my mushroom, the designs are simple and nothing spectacular, that’s all. I’d imagine others would experience something similar. 


After a few minutes of tapping the lamp–finally! I got a [Well] Cheese Delight. It’s nothing as delightful as the name suggests, only a simple block of yellow cheese with holes in it, but it was my first decent quality piece of equipment obtained. The newness of it washed over me, similar to the feeling you get when you get a new pair of shoes. Boasting a health (HP) stat twice as much as my other pieces of equipment as well as the status of being a [Well] piece of equipment, it was framed by blue different from the green of the inferior [Unique] equipment and gray of the [Normal] equipment. 


The weapon itself is not the most conventional, but it will do for now. 


Eventually, I achieved a high enough level to use skill and pet draws—which are basically addictive gacha systems disguised only to those new to this style of game. The Lamp Goddess guided me through them, and while it was nice—they’d let you draw thirty at a time—they neglected a draw animation in the process, which I suppose is unnecessary because most end up skipping it anyway for the sake of convenience, but it would be interesting. 


With the level up, I also got the ability to join a family—basically the guild system in the game, helping players get stronger faster with a group. Honestly speaking, it isn’t too interesting a function. Most of the player base is quiet, or speaks different languages, and although there is a translation function, it isn’t the most well-known as it seems most in my server are new to this style of game. It’s useful, but not the most accurate. 


The player base is quite divided—there are people as young as nine and twelve, plenty of college-aged people, some in their late twenties and thirties, and one person claiming to be older than forty, for which they were bombarded with what is describable at best as laughter and at worst as mockery in the world chat—a chat public to all within the server, where anyone can see what things people text and anyone can text. It’s quite interesting how one game can attract such a variety of people. 


Speaking of the player base, it’s a somewhat toxic environment, at least in my server—for those who do not frequent these types of games, often, due to a large player base, people are split into servers, separate from each other, and have limited interaction with those from other servers. Throughout my now two weeks of playing, I have observed people using offensive racial slurs—which I have reported—mocking one another, harassing one another, proclaiming superiority, death threats (to oneself) and sexual humor—knowing full well there are children on this app. I ventured onto another server and the people there were quite wholesome, hyping each other up and discussing ways of playing the game more efficiently—so I suppose the game is simply a reflection of the variety of humanity, after all. 


As someone who has played these kinds of games before—fun but money-hungry—I can say with confidence that Legend of Mushroom is too a cash-grab. During the first few days of gameplay, the game appears to be fair to its players, but eventually, those who pay have a great advantage, being tens of times more powerful than an equally active free-to-play player. As I suspected, during the second week of the game’s release, they began adding many new “events,” consisting so far of mostly wheel spins that have a “guaranteed after ___ spins” function. However, only those that pay enough can get that many spins. See what I’m getting at here? People who pay have a disproportionate advantage. There’s no problem with that, but if you want a fair game, this is not it. 


Overall, the game can be enjoyable, yet remains nothing special. I would recommend it to those too busy with work to actively invest time into games, as well as those who have had success with these kinds of games before, but not to competitive people or those looking for long-term brain-boggling fun. I do not recommend it for students either as it has only wasted my time. It’s a cash-grab, but could potentially be enjoyable. 6/10 stars for me.

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