When Mysterium was released, I was intrigued. When they announced a US-version of Mysterium – a.k.a. the version translated to English – I was excited. And when Dave said he bought the game and wanted to test play it, we all said yes.
Mysterium may not take a lot of time to play, depending on how your “ghost” fares. However, the game trades your Eldritch-Horror-Play-Time for real estate. The visuals of Mysterium rivals that of Dixit, and for a game with its fundamentals on pictures instead of words, setup is key.
Within each box, you have:
- 1 game screen
- 1 sand timer
- 6 intuition tokens
- 1 clairvoyance track and its 6 level markers
- 6 sleeves
- 15 culprit, weapon, location, ghost, and crow tokens
- 108 psychic and ghost cards
- 5 clock and progress boards
- 84 vision cards
This game requires at least two players, and plays like a partial co-operative with individual points. Firstly, choose one player to be the “ghost”, while the rest of the players will play the clairvoyants / mediums.
The “ghost” gets a screen, and sets up accordingly as instructed in the instruction manual. There’s going to be quite a bit of distribution going on, differing with the number of players as mediums, so I’m not going to go into details here. For a point of reference, here’s what you need to have before you start playing:
- “Ghost” player behind the screen
- Sand timer next to the Clock board, with the clock hand at “1”
- Each clairvoyant / medium player to have their corresponding sleeve, intuition token, clairvoyance track, and level markers
- Boards and corresponding cards for the culprit, weapon, and location choices face up
You’re now ready to play!
(Note: This game takes up a bit of real estate and will require quite a bit of assembly. This post is only my experience with the game, so please consult your instruction manual before you play your game.)
The Game We Played
So in Mysterium, we are all mediums contacted by a victim who had been murdered. Using vision cards, the “ghost” distributes image cards to point the medium to their assigned culprit, location, and weapon. In essence, it’s like playing Cluedo with Dixit, and a timer. The longer a medium takes to guess the correct culprit, location, and weapon, the lesser points they earn, which translates to the amount of cards they’ll be able to see before casting their final votes in the final round of cards.
With Dave as the ghost, I was able to interpret his clues really well, thanks to a combination of skill and the luck of the cards. Ben’s cards were slightly trickier, and that resulted in us taking a longer time to get where we wanted to go.
Regardless, Mysterium is a game of beautiful art, thrilling curiosity, and fun that won’t drive you to boredom with waiting.
Gameplay Winner: All of us won both rounds, with Dave being the first ghost and Ben being the second.
Our copy of Mysterium was a translated copy from its original designers, Oleksandr Nevisky and Oleg Sidorenko. Originally published by Libellud, you can find out more about this game here.