Toy Corner

Mysterium Board Game Review

Apr 18, 2024

Mysterium board game

This asymmetric cooperative game has a certain spin from the classic murder mystery. Where you won't mind being ghosted for once! The game I am talking about is Mysterium and it has certainly caught my attention as a game to play on game nights.

There are different roles to be played in Mysterium, you can either be a ghost looking for revenge by guiding players to your killer or a psychic trying to resolve the mystery of the killer. This game is a thought-provoking adventure which will bring a challenge for you to find the culprit. Let's now get into it on my in-depth review of Mysterium.

Gameplay Mechanics of Mysterum Board Game

Delving deeper into the Mysterium board game, it's essential to unravel the gameplay mechanics that bring its mysterious air to life. "What makes Mysterium special?", you may ask. Let's break down the spine-tingling puzzles, player roles and game objectives that bestow Mysterium its essence.

Playing the Mysterium board game feels like untying a knot of spectral secrets where the central quest is to unravel the truth behind the murder of a restless apparition.

You see, in Mysterium, players take on the role of psychic detectives or a communicative ghost. The psychics have a seven-hour deadline to solve the ghost's murder. Each hour in the game symbolises the passing of time. Every tick-tock brings a chance to discover the hidden clues and solve the murder but also nudges you closer to the game's end.

Dream cards are passed around containing abstract artwork—clues from the spectral realm. Their interpretation leads to the identification of a location, murder weapon and suspect. All this could remind you a little of Cluedo. You've got your hands full with these spectral breadcrumbs, waiting to be traced back to the crime.

mysterium components

In the Mysterium board game, the role you assume can dramatically shape your experience. Step into the shoes of psychic detectives, and, suddenly, you're neck-deep into solving an ethereal murder mystery. You're not just a player—you turn into a paranormal investigator, trying to piece together fragmented visions to solve the murder, to allow the spirit some solace.

On the flip side, embodying the ghost turns the tables. You become the dispenser of clues, communicating through cryptic dream cards, and guiding the detectives. Nevertheless, you too experience the frustrations of silence, just like any ghost would! Your detective friends misinterpret your clues, stray off the path, and all you can do is...watch, wait and remain silent!

Learning how to play Mysterium surely isn't a walk in the park. Given the rulebook is quite large it does make it feel like the game is more complicated than what it really is. The Mysterium board game is equal parts suspense, unpredictability and thrill, with a pinch of hilarity. The complexity of player roles, combined with the taut game objective, creates a gripping dynamic unique to Mysterium. It's an unpredictably fantastic journey where you don't just play a round of a game—you experience a tale of spectral mystery.

Components

It's crucial to appreciate the components of Mysterium, which lie at the core of the captivating gameplay. From the elusive game board to the mystical cards, every element has a role to play in this spectral murder mystery.

It's the game board that brings to life the eerie setting where phantoms and psychic detectives coexist. The intriguing designs and careful detailing capture your imagination, immersing you in the terrifying beauty of the Mysterium Mansion. I've seen players get lost in their roles, their poker faces revealing nothing, while their hearts race to uncover the secrets hidden within the game.

mysterium cards

Next up are the cards — character cards, location cards, object cards and, most importantly, vision cards. These aren't just ordinary gear. They serve as the breadcrumbs leading us deeper into our spectral murder mystery.

The character, location, and object cards provide clues to the key elements of the crime. It's like being handed pieces of an ethereal puzzle, each one more perplexing than the next. Players spend plenty of time mulling over these cards, trying to pick up any minuscule detail that might point them in the right direction.

On the other hand, you've got the vision cards. The Mysterium relies heavily on these. With a huge deck of 84 vision cards, the replayability factor skyrockets. No two game nights are the same, and that, in my opinion, is remarkable. The ghost hands out these vision cards to the psychic detectives, sending them on a wild mind chase as they try to figure out the connections and identify the right elements linked to the crime scene.

Moreover, the artwork on these cards stands out. It's captivating, loaded with nuances, and adds significantly to the gameplay. As a ghost, I've spent my fair share of time analysing the intricate details of these images behind the screen, trying to find the perfect one that would help my psychic detectives solve the mystery.

What I liked and disliked about Mysterium the board game

The Mysterium board game has without a doubt become a treasured part of my adult group's game nights. With its intriguing blend of mystery and strategy, it offers not only a competitive but a collaborative experience. Each match brings a new challenge, yet even with multiple plays, the charm never fades away. There are things however that I would say could be improved, let’s talk about them.

Firstly, the game's defining feature – the vision cards – truly sets it apart. With 84 different cards, the combinations are virtually endless, adding an element of unpredictability that's invigorating. I feel like the game changes with every card drawn, making each round a new story altogether.

Complexity is another aspect that's addressed quite well. Despite the intricate design of the game, the learning curve isn't overly steep. When I was learning how to play Mysterium, I found the rules to be intuitive and the instructions easy to follow even for first-timers. This makes it an excellent party game where everyone can participate and enjoy.

The biggest flaw I felt when first playing the game was the massive rulebook, which at first made me feel a bit overwhelmed, and I know I am not the only person who’s felt this way. Libellud has tried to make the game seem a lot more complicated than it is, I quickly got passed this once I started playing the game. 

The need for expansions to keep the game fresh is another valid criticism. While the current deck of cards offers ample variety, over time I can see the need for new cards to maintain the unpredictable aspect of the game, saying that the expansion packs are reasonably priced.

Final Thoughts on Mysterium

As a cooperative game, it is one that I really enjoy and look forward to playing when it is on the diary for game night. Libellud have outdone themselves when making Mysterium. Although annoying that they need to be purchased, the expansion packs bring more hours of gameplay to Mysterium which I cannot fault. It is certainly a game that brings excitement and also a bit of mystery to the table. If you are in doubt about whether to grab a copy I would say that do it as you will not regret adding Mysterium to your collection. If you've loved this I would also suggest for you to look at Mysterium Park, I have written a review here.

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