Shroomchitect is a feature-light simulator that strips away any of the stress from the genre. It neither requires a heavy time investment nor masterful micromanagement to complete your vision and take care of your virtual shroomies. Yet it has just enough systems to keep you engaged for hours developing little mushroom homes and taking care of the inhabitants.
You begin the game with a single red amanita mushroom and three forest sprites. As you play more, you’ll unlock different starting mushrooms of various types, sizes, colors, and even amounts. Some starter homes you unlock consist of up to three mushrooms on a single map. Generally, the bigger the mushroom, the more sprites, with a limit of five.
“It’s a simple loop but with enough flexibility to allow you to complete projects without too much stress.”
To take care of your shroomies, balancing their workload of foraging for materials, digging, gardening, and building, with social time for chatting and essentials like sleeping and eating, is important. Those familiar with city simulators and The Sims will be at home with these stripped-back mechanics. But luckily, even if these meters do run into the red, your shroomies don’t die; they simply stop listening to your orders until you fill the bars back up.
It’s a simple loop but with enough flexibility to allow you to complete projects without too much stress. Combine this with an adorable chunky voxel look, cute forest sprites, and a chill soundtrack, and I was all in.
“Even with a small number of buildable objects and a tiny map, there are a lot of potential creations you can make.”
Shroomchitect also has several mechanical surprises that pop up after the initial tutorial and does an excellent job organically introducing them as you play. Even with a small number of buildable objects and a tiny map, there are a lot of potential creations you can make. Despite a simplistic initial impression during my first mushroom, by the end of my time with the game, I was creating tree houses, interlocking mushrooms, and maximizing my minimal space.
There’s enough to Shroomchitect for hours of relaxing fun. Even just sitting listening to its chiptuney-esque lo-fi music, taking pictures and gifs with the integrated camera tool, and caring for shroomies was engaging. It is a great way to decompress after a long day or spend a sleepy afternoon. It would also be an excellent port for mobile phones or Nintendo Switch.
You can pick up Shroomchictect on itch.io for $6.00.