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Mysterium

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Category: Age: 10+ 45 - Min 2 - 7 Players 2015

Sometimes a game title alone could catch your eye and make you want to play without knowing what it is about. For me, that game was Mysterium. It is a cooperative game for 2 to 7 players, translated from the Polish edition, Tajemnicze Domostwo, with new artwork and components.

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The premises are equally intriguing, since the game transfers you to a Scottish house in the 1920s. Having sensed a presence in his new house, the new owner invites some psychics (1 to 6) to spend the night there (seven hours) and communicate with the spiritual being. It turns out that this is the ghost of someone who had been murdered in this house long before the time you’ll begin playing. Having lost its memory, the ghost will try to send some visions to the mediums in order to help them decipher the identity of its murderer.

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The players win or lose together, so there is no individual play here. They have to have found the correct culprit, weapon and location that were involved in the murder. Sounds a bit like Cluedo? That’s because it is a bit like Cluedo. But it’s even more like Dixit, because the vision cards are very abstract, and the ghost (the seventh player) unable to speak, will be giving out cards in the hopes that something in them will help the mediums get to the answer. The psychics also get to vote on their colleagues’ guess and could earn some insight points which should come in handy in the seventh and last round.

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What is the ghost trying to show us here?
Is it the hat? Is it the cutlery?
Or is it the color of the card that should point us towards one of the suspects?

Why you should play it
If you like the two aforementioned board games, you have your answer. Apart from the fun aspect of the two games combined, it will also give you an insight into how well you can “read” your friends. It is not likely that you’ll get bored of the game so easily, given the variety of the vision cards and the fact that you don’t always have to be the psychic. Whenever you are the ghost, you get to have a Dungeon-master-type of screen in front of you, where you can place one possible combination of murderer-weapon-location for each one of the mediums.

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This is what the ghost sees

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This is what the mediums see

If you are the type of gamer who likes to have atmospheric game nights, then light some candles, scan the code for the soundtrack you’ll find in the rulebook and start playing the game!

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Why you shouldn’t play it
I get it, there are no dice, there are no character cards, there are no zombies even! Or maybe it’s a totally different reason why this game will rub you the wrong way. However, you shouldn’t make up your mind before you try it out. Besides, how often can you claim that you have been a ghost in your life?

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MariaNerd

MariaNerd

I was born in the previous century, during a time when the hottest board game was Monopoly. Because of that, I stayed in the dark for too many years, until I discovered modern board games. It was the dawn of a new era for me, and there’s no turning back. I am an English teacher and translator and I divide my free time between trying to initiate my friends into new board games and pursuing my other passions, whose striking disparity establishes me as a Jack of all trades, or a completely unstable individual. You can never be sure, so tread lightly just in case.
MariaNerd

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Breakdown

Set-Up Ease: There’s no board, so you lay down cards in order to make one4 / 5 Gameplay Ease: If you can ‘read’ your friends, you’re good to go 5 / 5 Replay Value: Vision cards offer different clues in every game 3 / 5 Thematic: Candles, music, spirits and psychics, people! 5 / 5
Overall Rating: Dixit meets Cluedo? Sign me up! 7 / 10

*See how the rating system works!