Mechanica was a Kickstarter game I received recently and got to the table fairly quickly. I played it solo to get to know the game, and I liked it. Then I played a 3-player and a 4-player game and maybe liked it a little less.
It’s a charming drafting and factory automation (production/upgrading/selling) game with some recipe fulfillment for extra points. It plays great, but my issue with the 3-4 player game was the length of the game felt too short to the point of it being a bit unsatisfying. It ended by the time it started to feel like I had a nice engine going. The issue doesn’t really exist in the solo game, or probably the 2-player game, where players receive more “machines” overall and your engine feels a bit more “complete.”
I wish the game was pretty much the same, but scaled up overall (more lanes, more length, more tiles). Since it’s an exponential game, I can see why the choice was made to “contain” it so it doesn’t explode too much. Nevertheless, I’d like a little bit “more” somehow.
It is a solid idea and framework, but I wish the execution was more ambitious. For now, I sold it to a friend, and I’ll play it, but I hope it is revisited in the future with a weightier approach. I’ve been looking for a cool “Factorio-like” factory automation board game which works in a tabletop format and unfortunately, while cute, this just wasn’t it.