My girlfriend and I are standing in the middle of a forest, and we currently both hate each other.
‘You took my fairy ring!’ she accuses me.
‘You took the butter!’ I shout back. ‘You know I needed that butter!’
We’re playing Morels, a whimsical and adorable card game about picking mushrooms and cooking them. And yet, this is one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played.
In Morels, both players must pick mushrooms and add them to their hand before playing them to the table as sets in order to cook them and score points.
They can gain additional points by adding butter, cider, or cooking larger sets of mushrooms, but the problem is that the mushrooms are quickly decaying, the number of cards you can hold is extremely limited, and your traitorous girlfriend opponent is taking the ones you need.
There’s also the Destroying Angel, a mushroom that poisons you if you eat it.
I stare down at my hand full of colorful mushrooms, paralyzed by choice. There are mushrooms I want, but they’re too deep in the forest to collect. Should I use my limited number of walking sticks to go get them before she does?
I do it.
‘Why did you do that!? I needed that!’
‘So did I!’
‘You’re the worst!’
Morels is a wonderfully designed 2 player game. Neither of us are really angry at each other – this is merely the passion of playing a good game where every decision matters and every moment spent not roasting a honeysuckle mushroom over a pan of gooey brown butter is a moment lost forever.
If you want something that plays fast, has a lot of intricate choice, and is utterly beautiful, you could do a lot worse than Morels.
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