Board Game: Mushroom Ale

I have a library full of games. At its height it contained almost 500 different ones, these days I brought it back to 293 games according to board game geek, although that’s probably including a lot of expansions. Naturally I have several games about beer and once in a post I’d like to tell more about one of them. This time it’s time for a print and play game: Mushroom Ale.

A print and play game is a game you can print yourself at home and then play. They go from simple yahtzee scoreblocks, to extensive 3D board games like Smash Monster Rampage (which has apparently been taken offline since they published Terror in Meeple City). Sometimes the print, some scissors and some glue is enough, but mostly you need some dice and in this case also a pen.

Mushroom ale is a SOLO game, although you could duel with someone else if you print it twice. You have to reprint the game to play again, or seal it and use wipable pens.

To play Mushroom Ale, you need seven D6’s (or six-sided dice), a pen and one print from the game. You can buy the game here for just 2 dollars at the moment of writing. The game takes place in the world of Legends of Dsyx, a fantasy setting for roll-and-write games created by Robin Gibson and published by Metal Snail Idea Workshop and Button Shy Games. And that’s what Mushroom Ale is, a roll-and-write. Like Yahtzee, only the whole roll-and-write genre has evolved tremendously. For one, there are a lot of roll-and-draw games these days. You can still write if you want to, but drawing makes it more fun. Mushroom Ale is more of a roll-and-draw game.

Although the game is just one page and the rule set the size of a A6, it is quite the thinker and pretty difficult to play. In it you have to plant and grow mushrooms, harvest them and brew beers with them. How you plant and grow the mushrooms is essential though, because you get points for their place in the caves in relationship to the other mushrooms and the weeds. This is quite difficult to accomplish because you work in one furrow a time and you can’t come back to the same furrow twice. They also cross each other, so choose carefully where you start and where you want to end.

In your turn you roll 7 D6s. You choose a furrow to faarm in by filling in the circle and do the actions you can do based on your dice in any order you like. The actions are drawing a weed, dig a dirt pile, plant a mushroom on a dirtpile, harvest a mushroom and brew it or eat it, add quality to your beers and reroll dice you want to reroll. After 13 rounds you calculate your score based on the quality of the ales which is based on the mushrooms you used.

The mushrooms score differently, the miner’s cap gives you one quality for every mushroom of the same type, the Licur’s hammer gives you one quality for every mushroom in the same row and column, the Dragonhorn gives you two quality for every mushroom in the same diagonals and the Crystall ball gives you one quality for every adjacent weed

I played the game once now and I certainly will try it again soon. I didn’t use all options in the game (I didn’t eat the mushrooms), so certainly there is room for improvement. I didnt expect it to be this difficult, but there is so much you have to keep in mind during the game, so much that needs your attention. And I loved the game for it. The difference between a solo game and a puzzle is small, and you might see this more as a puzzle than a game, but that’s exactly what makes this game interesting. I’d definitely like to recommend everyone to at least try this game once! For only 2 dollars it’s definitely worth it!

What was your highest score in Mushroom Ale?

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