Micro Mutants Evolution Review
A new dexterity based board game that I got to try out was Micro Mutants: Evolution.
In Micro Mutants, each player takes on the role of a different type of microscopic race of bugs that is trying to take over the world (and for now must defeat the other races). Each turn, you roll two dice which determine what types of units you can move. From here, you take the "shooter" (a small rectangular plastic piece) and use it to "shoot" one of your pieces that corresponds to each unit type rolled. This is done by pushing the shooter down on the edge of one of your bugs (which is also made of plastic), which causes the unit to jump across the table. If your unit lands out of play, you place him back in his original position and his movement is forfeit. If, however, you are able to land on top of one of your opponent's units (or bases), then you are able to destroy it (it actually takes two hits to destroy a base). Once a player has destroyed two of his opponent's bases (or all but two of his bugs), he has won the game.
Before getting into pros and cons, I must confess - this is not my normal style of game. I truly enjoy the strategy aspect of board games, and this doesn't really fit into that mold. With that said, I will try to be fair to the game and base the pros, cons and, ultimately, the score on what I feel the game was designed to be, instead of comparing it to something like Puerto Rico and saying "oh, the game wasn't strategic enough."
The first pro that I found in Micro Mutants was that the four races were actually different and well conceived. Depending on which race you played, you will have a different breakdown of pieces at your disposal and they will also have different abilities. This even reaches out to the race's powers - if you are the flyborgs, you will have different abilities that you can unlock than the usarthropods. It is nice to see that the game designers didn't stop themselves at creating simply a mechanic, but also developed the races so that each could stand on it's own.
The next thing that I liked about Micro Mutants is it was enjoyably light-hearted. (And to be fair, if you take the game seriously, you will probably not enjoy it.) After several hours of playing more strategic games (and it being 2 AM), we decided to try this one out as a final wrap up game before giving up for the night. With this in mind, we thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect that is possible in the game. (By this, I mean we trashed talked each other about something as trivial as which of us would wind up shooting their bugs more effectively. And just to put it on the record - I turned out to be better at it.)
My main con for the game is that I wasn't a big fan of moving the pieces using the shooter and the fine tuned aiming that was required. Again, I am not a huge dexterity game fan in the first place, but I believe that there is a role for them in the gaming community. Personally, I enjoy playing Clout Fantasy, but the way Micro Mutants played, it seemed to force players to be much better at the dexterity portion of the game than Clout. Personally, I prefer to have a little more leniency in how close I am to the pieces that I am trying to destroy, and a little more importance placed on who I try to attack and when. In Micro Mutants, the winner is almost 100% based on which player is better at shooting their pieces, and not based on which player was more strategic about their movements. (Yes, yes, I said I wasn't going to whine about the game not having enough strategy, but I did anyway. Oh well.) To me, if I am going to play something that is simply a dexterity game, that is what sports, washers, bean bag toss, etc, etc, are for.
Overall, I give Micro Mutants Evolution a 7.0/10. I think it was a fun little lighthearted game, but definitely won't be a game for everyone. If you enjoy the mechanic of jumping pieces with the "shooter", then this game will provide you with tons of (microscopic) fun. If that doesn't sound like something that is perfect for you, you'd probably be better off staying away.