Lucky Duck Games
Playtime: 20-80 Minutes
Deckbuilding is probably our favorite gaming mechanic here at Sequential Plant. We have played many, and eventually, a lot of their mechanics start to blend together and it can be hard to find a truly original deck builder. Because of this, a deck builder that looks unique often catches our eyes quickly, and Mutants is certainly one of those.
In Mutants, players act as humans with psychic abilities that create and control mutants to fight as gladiators. The player with the strongest mutants will win the Mutants World Tournament. Ethics aside, Mutants has a neat concept that embraces its arena theme. It’s colorful, looks unique, and gives the players tons of battlers to choose from.
Unlike most deck builders, players won’t be building their decks from a general pool that everyone uses. Instead, each player will construct their own unique pool during setup. Deck construction uses basic card drafting mechanics in which each player will start with a set of cards, choose one, and pass the rest off to the next player. This will continue until everyone has their deck, then play will begin. There are also premade constructed decks for new players who aren’t familiar with the way the game works yet.
Players will all start with the same basic deck and will work to battle, earn points, and build their main deck using the cards that were drafted. On their turn, players can deploy a mutant from their hand of six cards, breed, or incubate a mutant. Playing a mutant from your hand usually leads to some kind of effect, which can help a player score or harm others. Every mutant has a type associated with it, and these types can be used to breed. The advanced mutants that players drafted usually have two types associated with them, so players can discard two of their weaker mutants with those types to acquire the stronger one. You can incubate a mutant by discarding a card from your hand, but the process is much slower and players won’t get the opportunity to use their new mutant until the next round.
Throughout all of this, the players will be climbing and knocking others down a ladder in an effort to score points at the end of a round. The top of the ladder will get the most points while the bottom won’t get any. The between players will get some points, but not a lot. Mutant’s implementation of rounds makes it feel more unique than other deckbuilders in that simply building the best deck and going for victory points isn’t the only way to go. Collecting points on the way to victory is essential for success, requiring players to balance their gameplay.
The game flows rather nicely thanks to the game’s quick turns. Experienced players will be able to breeze through games quickly, making this an enjoyable light game. While this isn’t the heaviest deck builder, the drafting mechanic, in the beginning, adds tons of depth and strategy. Most games might actually be decided before it even starts, making Mutants a strategic affair that doesn’t utilize as much luck as other games in the genre. Mutants can be played by up to four players, but plays best at 2-3. Four players slow the game down a bit too much, leading to too much downtime between turns.
Mutants is a fresh deck builder that utilizes a few neat mechanics to make it stand out from the competition. While it doesn’t play well with too many players, its full of depth and strategy while remaining easy enough to play. Mutants can be recommended for deckbuilding lovers who want something a little different.
Mutants is a fresh deck builder that utilizes a few neat mechanics to make it stand out from the competition.