You wake up alone from cyrosleep onboard the starship Daedalus. After the grogginess wears off, you realize there are actually 16 crew members scattered across the ship, and some may not be who they seem. With this chilling realization, you quickly learn the basics about the game and the many UI icons. During my first game, I choose the radio expert Paola – you are only given a handful of characters to choose from the 16 unique and colorful characters.
Being one of the first active characters at the time, I set off moving from room to room clicking on random objects, picking up a spacesuit in the process, quickly filling my three slot inventory. It only took a minute or two, but I learned the first rule of Mush – no not that rule. You are given limited amount of movement and action points or MP and AP to spend during each cycle (3 hours in real life). Every time you exit one room and enter another it will cost a single blue movement point. Interacting with computers, picking up objects, searching a room, basically everything you do in the game will cost action points, some costing more than others.
Gaining experience levels up your character, opening up additional skill slots. As Roland, the best gunner and fighter pilot on the Daedalus, the skills I can choose from improve both his piloting and shooting abilities. Keeping your character alive you must stay well-fed and keep your morale high. If either of these get too low, prepare to be served up as Mush food.
Each of the characters are capable of completing unique projects tailored to their skillset. Paola, for example, is the best choice at establishing communications with Sol, upgrading the computer system and decrypting signals from rebel bases. All of this must be done from the terminal on the bridge and seeing her outside of the bridge should raise a few eyebrows about whether or not she can be trusted.
Over the course of the game, crew members become infected and become the Mush. A handy UI element keeps the crew informed about how many crew members are active (human) and how may are Mush. You may know how many, but no one knows for sure who has turned. This is where the game starts to become interesting, as accusations are made and trust between crew members falters. Being the Mush, which I haven’t been able to experience as of yet, you goals are simple: take over the ship and kill the rest of the crew, spreading the disease. The rest of the crew must survive attacks from the Mush players, while still trying to establish a connection to Sol, fend off attacking Hunters and scan for habitable life. To keep things fair, it is against the rules of the game to confess to being a Mush. Considering you won’t gain experience by confessing and losing, you might as well keep your head down, that is until the opportune moment arises. Those who are infected gain access to a private chat channel, allowing them to conspire together with the other Mush onboard.
The right side of browser page includes a threaded chat/forum system, allowing players to stay in contact with one another. It’s a great place for new players to ask for help from those who are more familiar with the game. Strangely, I’ve read numerous messages about players not liking newcomers in the game and one person who wrote, “…new beta keys were released. That’s unfortunate.” Mush will live or die by the community of players and this kind of attitude is unfortunate.
In my most recent game (currently in Day 3) the Commander forced everyone into the dorm rooms where security cameras are already setup hoping to find the three Mush crew members. If anyone ignored his command, they would be considered Mush and will be tortured. The person doing the torturing however is currently inactive, so we will see how this plays out. Maybe the Mush has already got to him.
Mush is currently in a closed beta state, but if you are interested in joining the beta, we are giving away a bunch of beta codes on the Forums for SelectButton members only. Head over to the raffle page and enter today.