Guest Review: Mysterium

Guest Writer: Dave Johnson

“You have dared to cross the threshold of the haunted Mysterium Manor… How very brave!
Settle in around the table, open your mind and awaken your sixth sense as you prepare for an extraordinary séance with the aim of laying a stranded soul to rest…”
– Mysterium

“Welcome to the haunted manor of Mysterium!
In the 1920’s, Mr. MacDowell, a gifted astrologist, entered into his new house when he immediately detected a supernatural being. Gathering eminent mediums of his time for an extraordinary seance, they will have 7 hours to contact the ghost and investigate to unlock an old mystery…
Unable to talk, the amnesiac ghost will communicate with the mediums through visions (illustrated cards). They will have to decipher the images to help the ghost remember how he was murdered (who? where? which weapon?). The more they cooperate and guess well, the easier it will be to the catch the right culprit. So enter in this strange manor and let yourself be led by your intuition!”(Mysterium)

Mysterium box

The pretty box art of Mysterium © Libellud

Background:
You receive a letter requesting your presence for a séance intended to free the spirit from the confines of the house. Six people are invited to the manor and each player must take on the persona of one. One player will be the ghost.

The game is set in the 1920’s on Halloween night in Warwick, Scotland. You have a mere seven hours to make contact with the spirit and find out who killed him. The ghost is too weak to speak and therefore must communicate by impressions or visions. It is up to the players to discern the meaning of the message.

First impressions of Mysterium

This is a cool game played with up to seven players. Six players as psychics and one player as the ghost. The game has a small similarity to Clue®… small.
It s much more complex than Clue. The six players must work together to solve the mystery of who killed the ghost. No question and answer… No.. the clues are in the form of visions shared with the group. Some will have more of the vision than the others.

The setup. This game comes with lots of cards. Two types of cards are used. Blue cards are for the ghost and the other cards are to be used by the players as the playing surface. (See photo) Three “tracks” are used. The first track is the character track. This section is where the players will guess the character who killed the ghost. During this turn, the players will receive a vision from the ghost. The vision cards are handed out to the players. The visions are what sets this game apart from similar games like Clue.

They can show each other or they can describe their vision to the others. The vision cards have clues to the identity of the killer. The vision cards are beautiful pictures with abstract artwork. (See photo)

Game artwork © Libellum

Game artwork © Libellum

The second track is the location track. As before each player will have a vision and make a guess as to where the murder occurred. If you are wrong… you must stay put. If you are right the player will move his marker to the next track.

The third track is the weapon track. This is played as before. You must guess the weapon that was used in the murder. I don’t want to explain the entire game to you. Learning the game is also a lot of fun too. Start off with the basic or easy game. Once you have mastered the rules… The game is even more fun to play.

Bottom line: This is a fun filled game playable in one hour. Win or lose… the players always have a great time.

Like Clue, Mysterium is a “who-done-it” game but with this twist; you must communicate with the ghost to determine who is the guilty party. Another similarity is the cards. Mysterium uses cards that represent the people who were present the fateful night when the man servant was killed. Like Clue the games are set up with a character card, location card, and a weapon card hidden from the players. Unlike Clue… One each of the categories is selected for each player. So, if you have two players… Two character cards are hidden along with two location cards and two weapon cards. The rest of the cards, minus the number taken out of play are placed on the playing surface. Not only do the players have to make a guess, based on clues provided by the ghost in the form of a vision, as to the person who killed the man but it is not concrete until the later portions of the game. Only the ghost knows for sure who killed him.

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