‘Ah, François, springtime is almost here. You can smell it!’, Emile said while he pointed his hands towards the sky. ‘Isn’t it a prefect day for a nice walk in the forest?’ François nodded. He was walking silently besides him, walking stick in one hand and a half-eaten apple in the other. ‘Itsssure is, itssure is’, he snorted, tiny pieces of apple were flying everywhere. He swallowed. ‘We must surely keep an eye out for some mushrooms! The maid can cook them when we get back home.’ Emile pursed his lips and sucked in the fresh, forest air. ‘Oh, I’m already looking forward to it.’
What you get for your money:
86 Forest cards, 8 Night cards, 18 Stick cards, 1 Pair of Shoes card, 6 Overview cards and the rules.
How do you play the game:
You are searching for mushrooms in the forest. Collect the right ones and a delicious meal is waiting for you.
Fungi is a 2-player set collection game. You are collecting mushrooms. You can find these mushrooms in the forest, a row of eight forest cards in the middle of the table. The first two cards in the row are mushrooms that are right in front of your feet, you can collect one of those cards for free in your turn. You can also collect mushrooms deeper into the forest, but you have to walk longer and that’s why you have to pay some sticks before you can grab them.
You start the game with three forest cards in your hand and your hand limit is 8 cards. You can find ten types of mushrooms in the forest, some are rarer than others. Rare mushrooms are worth more points. How do you get these points? Cook the mushrooms. You have to put at least three mushrooms of the same type in a pan. Players start the game with one pan and to cook more mushrooms during the game, more pans need to be collected. When you cook mushrooms you can add butter (4 or more mushrooms) or cider (5 or more mushrooms) to the mix to get even more points. In the forest you can also find night cards. When you take a night card, you must immediately exchange it with a card from the night deck. Almost every mushroom has a night variant; one card, twice as much mushrooms. At some point, you will also find baskets in the forest. When you take a basket, you immediately place it in front of you and your hand limit increases with two cards. Sometimes you have to (or want to) take the Fly agaric mushroom, this one is poisonous and lowers your hand limit to four cards until the end of your next turn.
So, in your turn, you can do one of the following: take one card from the forest, cook three or more identical mushroom, sell at least two mushrooms of the same type for sticks (the value differs per type, rarer ones are worth more sticks), take a pan from your hand and place it in front of you or take all the cards (max. four) from the decay pile.
At the end of every turn the first card of the forest row will go into the decay pile (this pile has a maximum of four cards) and all the forest are slid towards the decay pile so that there are two new cards at your feat. Then draw one or two new cards from the forest deck so that the forest contains eight cards again. The game ends when the forest deck is empty and all the cards in the forest are gone. Add up all the points from the mushrooms in the pans in your display and the one with the most points wins Fungi!!
Basically Fungi is a simple set collection game. Collect as many mushrooms of the same type as you want and then cook them in a pan to claim the points. The more you’ve collected the more points you get. Additionally, you get more points when you also collect and add Cider or Butter to your meal. Simple.
The interesting part is how you get these mushrooms. Do you wait for the mushrooms to slide in front of your feet so you can pick them up for free or do you exchange other mushrooms for some sticks so you can wander deeper into the forest and grab them earlier. As you may see, this game has a push your luck element in it. Wait for the mushroom to become cheap? Pay sticks? But what if your opponent grabs it before that??
And when do you cook them? Do you wait for the whole set plus the night version of that type, or do you cook them before that, because you know your opponent has some too? Or maybe your hand limit just isn’t sufficient enough to take more mushroom from the forest, so you have to?
The decay pile and the way it is formed is also pretty interesting. Every turn one card goes into this pile, the first one in the row. One action you can take in your turn is to take the whole decay pile into your hand. So you can try to make the decay pile, by taking certain cards from the forest and leaving others behind, as profitable for you or as unattractive for your opponent as you want. Here too you can find the (minor) push your luck element. The pile can only be four cards thick and you don’t really know what your opponent will do in her turn. When do you take it?
In Fungi, you constantly have to check, what does my opponent want and what do I want. When we want the same stuff, can I get the mushrooms earlier or can I get the night version of that particular mushroom. Or does she already have that night card?
The rules are very easy, there are only a few things you can do in your turn, so this game is pretty easy to learn and teach. It’s very quick but it still has some depth to it. The forest is replenished every turn by drawing cards from the deck, so there is some luck involved. Sometimes you want a specific mushroom type and then those cards are only drawn at the beginning of the game and at the end and in the meantime you’ve already cooked or exchanged them. Choices…
Fungi definitely has some flavour. You look for mushrooms, to get deeper into the forest you have to walk longer. When you don’t collect the mushrooms in time they will decay. The night is the time mushrooms flourish, it’s harder to spot them, but you will get more when you do. And eventually, you will cook them in a pan and you know mushrooms are much better with some butter and some cider. Mmh delicious. I would not describe this game as very thematic, but, like I already said , it has a nice flavour.
The illustrations are nice, like a pretty forest picture. Sometimes you do have to look twice to see which mushrooms are in the forest row, especially in low light.
Quality of the game parts
Just fine, some decent cards, nothing special.
This game is pretty easy to learn, easy to play and it’s very quick, but you still have to make some interesting decisions. It’s not a brain burner, don’t get me wrong, but you have to keep an eye on your opponent and you have to choose which mushrooms you want to cook and which ones you leave behind. Do you pay with sticks or do you wait for them to get cheap?
Fungi is a very nice addition to the many fine 2-player fillers that are out there. Nice to look at and fun to play.