Monday, December 26, 2016

Board Game: Mysterium

No, not the order from Mage: The Awakening!

The Game: Mysterium
The Publisher: Asmodee
Players: Me, +Jonathan+Michelle, Al, Morgan
Time: 30 minutes, once you know how to play

Who's ready for spooooooky fun?

Game Play:
 Mysterium is a cooperative board game in which one player, the ghost, tries to guide the other players, the psychics, into figuring out the murderer. The game progresses in three rounds; first you try and figure out who the murderer is, then where they committed murder, then with what. If this sounds like Clue, well, my brother noted that this game is like Clue if someone put the effort in to making it fun.

See the clock? That's important.
The ghost chooses one set of options (person, place, thing) for each psychic, and then tries to guide the individual psychics toward the correct answers. It does this by playing "vision cards" to try and lead the psychic on; the vision cards are weird and surreal, and the conflict in the game really stems from trying to synch the vision cards up with the cards showing the correct choices.

Observe.
In the above picture, you can see five character cards. One of them is the one my psychic is trying to finger (ew) as the murderer. If the ghost plays a card with a sword, it might legitimately lead me to the one on the bottom right, but the card probably has more in it than just a sword, so it's a matter of narrowing down the vision cards. When I was ghost, I found it useful to play cards one at a time, and to pay attention to how people were choosing so I could play more cards on subsequent rounds.

After every round, the clock moves ahead an hour, and you only get eight. During that time, you have to choose your person, place, and thing, and then once all the psychics have done that, you wind up with one set per player. The ghost chooses one set as the correct one, and then chooses three vision cards to represent the elements of the set...but the players might not get to see all of them, depending on how fast they figured out their sets and how accurately they gauged other folks' guesses. If a majority vote on the correct set, yay! The murder is solved. If not, some very awkward breakfast conversation, I guess.
The backs of the cards. Boring picture, sorry.

Opinions: I like this game. Unlike a lot of such games, it's fast; once you know it, it flows pretty quickly and it's timed in any case so I can't imagine it taking more than an hour. The art on the cards is beautiful and it's layered enough that multiple vision cards can lead you to multiple character/location/item cards, depending on the combinations and other factors. It's also interesting to see people's logic in choosing; I, for instance, am never going to pick vision cards based on "color profile" because that wouldn't even occur to me, I'm more about themes of items and such.

Keep? Yep.