Monday, July 22, 2024

Mycelia’s Solo Gameplay Makes for Cozy Fungal Fun

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Get ready for some fungi fun in the forest! Ravensburger brings us Mycelia, a sweet deck-building game that takes you into the depths of the woods as you try and develop new skills and acquire heroes to bring magic to the wilderness. Designed by Daniel Greiner with art from Justin Chan (Sorcerer City) and Matt Paquette & Co. (Maripoasa, Food Chain Magnate), Mycelia is fun for the whole family while also giving solo gamers the chance to experience the fun all on their own.

What’s In The Box?

Mycelia box
  • 4 Game Boards
  • The Shrine of Life
  • 1 First Player Marker
  • 4 Supply Cards
  • 4 Setup Cards
  • 14 Action Cards
  • 72 Leaves
  • 1 die
  • 80 Dewdrops
  • 2 Shrine fields
  • 100 Cards
  • 2 rule books (3 languages per book)

How To Play Mycelia

Lucky for me (and any other only child), Mycelia has a solo mode that I played for this review. The setup is the same as it is for a multi-player game; place the die on the shrine in the same space you would for a 2-player game, place a supply card next to the shrine, and pull 5 basic cards from the deck to lay face up next to the facedown pile. After setting up your game board and grab 6 start cards, you’ll set up your adversary, a ghost mushroom named Gwydion. Instead of setting up a supply board, you’ll put 20 dew drops on his pile of leaves board as well as placing the 6 solo cards facedown next to it. You’ll compete with him to try and get rid of all 20 of your dew drops before he does.

Mycelia laid out for solo mode
Mycelia laid out for my solo games

At the beginning of your turn, play 3 your three starter cards. These cards will help you move dew drops off your board by way of moving the dew drops around or hiring heroes to get rid of them for you via the leaf currency. Once removed, dew drops are put in the holes in the shrine and stay there until the shrine is full (10 dew drops) and cleared out or until the game is finished.

After your turn, Gwydion will take his. One of the solo cards will be flipped up for Gwydion to perform the action of, and you take your turn again after that. Once the 5th solo card is played, all previously played solo cards will be shuffled back into the deck, and the game will continue the turn cycle.

The game ends once you or Gwydion has gotten rid of all of your dew drops. Once you’ve played a couple of solo games, you can make modifications to the gameplay by using a real game board for Gwydion or adding dew drops to his pile to make things a little easier on yourself.

What Do We Think?

Mycelia’s solo mode is a great addition to anyone’s roster of party games that are also good for an introvert’s night in. Where many 1-play modes can seem over-complicated for the sake of making the game harder or too simple to be any fun, this game does a good job of keeping things as close to the multi-player mode as possible. It would even be feasible to add Gwydion in as a 3rd or 4th player in a multiplayer game where you want to create another challenge.

Like most games, the first couple of rounds have a learning curve, especially with so many different actions that can be made by way of the cards, but the rulebook is your best friend here. As someone who finds myself constantly checking the rules over and over (and a good thing too, because I absolutely misunderstood a few of them through no fault of my own the first time I played) it was nice to have a clear explainer for all of the different symbols and their meanings on hand.

The art for this is incredible and the pieces are sturdy once they’re pulled apart or put together. That said, the construction of some of the larger pieces like the Shrine of Life can be a bit finicky, and the First Player Marker was particularly difficult for me to put together because of the wavy edges on the piece’s slots. Outside of that, all of the cards and smaller tiles are very well made, and the rotation function of the Shrine of Life works seamlessly once the structure is put together.

All of that said, Mycelia is a great game to bring out this spring as the weather warms. Solo players will love the flexibility of the game, and as long as putting together the pieces doesn’t delay you, it’s bound to be a great time for larger groups looking to spend some time in nature, whether it’s real or in the form of a game about magical mushroom people.

You can grab a copy of Mycelia from the Ravensburger shop, Amazon, or your FLGS at an MSRP of $39.99!

Images and review copy courtesy of Ravensburger

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