Mycelia Board Game Review
Nature, mushrooms, animals. These all seem to be the rage right now when it comes to board game themes, and for the most part, they all work really well. Many games, however, are beginning to blend together, as companies share concepts and ideas and just reskin them and mix of the mechanics to make something “new.” Mycelia is partially doing that, but includes a really cool dew drop system that is actually a lot of fun, albeit potentially gimmick. Either way, our time with Mycelia was fantastic, so let’s talk about it!
The components in the game are mostly really good. I love the dew drop pieces, and how they work with the game’s various mechanics. I wasn’t crazy about the quality of the cardboard, although as a mass produced title from Ravensburger, it’s more than good enough for the average family looking to play something new. I would have liked a bit thicker of a cardboard, but what we get here is OK!
In Mycelia, you are working to move the dew drops from your player board to the central Shrine of Life. This is done through a pretty good deck building mechanic that requires you to work with what is available to craft a usable deck. I like how the game forces you to use the cards in your hands each round, which means no saving for future turns. But aside from your deck, you also have cardboard action tiles you can use each round that have a leaf cost attached to them.
Being forced to use the three cards you draw each round means it’s really important to build a good deck. When playing something like Dominion, often a single card in your hand of 5 that is ‘useless’ likely won’t hurt your round that much. Having useless cards here can be a killer, so making sure you have a good balance of cards is really important.
I also love that brand new cards that you purchase are put onto your draw pile at the top, as opposed to in your discard pile like so many other games force you to do. That means there were more than a few times where it made strategic sense to buy a card I only planned on using once because I KNEW it would be in my hand the following round.
I love making these types of decisions – in games like Dominion where your purchased cards go to your discard pile, you are HOPING to get them in a good combination later in the game. Here, you can plan for that next round, potentially at the detriment of your game later. It’s a great decision to make, and it feels impactful.
At the end of a round when the shrine is full, the shrine is rotated dropping all the dew drops and a die onto the table. The die will let players know where new dew drops need to be added to player boards, with the rest of the drops being discarded. This is a really cool function that keeps players on their toes. You never know where a dew drop will end up, so again, having a good balanced hand will help mitigate this fairly random experience. I like that this exists, although the randomness of where the dew drop gets placed might be frustrating for some players.
Overall, I had a blast playing Mycelia. The components are pretty good, besides some of the cardboard pieces. However, it’s easy to understand and fun to play an entry deck building game. If you have younger kids who you are looking to introduce new board game concepts too, I think this is a fantastic experience. If you have a less experienced gaming group, this is an ideal game to get your collection going!