Mysterium: The Board Game Review
Mysterium: The Board Game is a cooperative deduction game of selecting cards and solving crimes. This digital adaptation of the tabletop game brings you to the mysterious autumn of 1922 in Warwick County, Scotland where the series of gruesome murders had happened.
It’s up to you to uncover a murderer, as well as the weapon and location of the murder, using just visual clues. Whether you choose to play as a ghost who gives the clues or one of the psychics trying to interpret them, you have to work towards one goal — solving the crime.
The Mysterium visuals fit well in the game. Graphics are not overly serious and depict characters in a whimsical and lively manner.
The game has an ethereal, atmospheric, almost ghostly feel that makes it engaging and mysterious. The developers did a decent job bringing Mysterium to life on mobile devices. It looks attractive and has the ability to zoom in and check out more details on each card.
The game’s story starts with the series of murders, each with some commonalities: a violent end for the victim and an amnesia for the perpetrator. Each murderer claims no knowledge of the events that led up to the crime. Some abnormal is going on, but the police have no leads and no clues how to proceed.
That’s where Mr. MacDowell takes in, a local nobleman famed for his psychic talents. After he looks through the case, he realizes it is too big to handle it himself, so he brings in a sort of a psychic dream team. And in the game, you play as a part of this dream team or the ghost of the murdered individual who provides the psychics with the clues.
With the help of ghosts, the psychics will try to reconstruct the murder case by identifying the correct character, location, and an object used to commit the crime. You have to sort out suspects with possible matching murder weapons and locations.
The only way ghosts can communicate with the psychics is by sending them visions, which represented by vision cards. These visions are always abstract and weird, and the clues they contain are often obscure.
Within the vision, you have to find something that points to the correct character, location, or object card. On the first turn, each player receives a vision of a suspect by the ghost, and if correctly identified, on the next turn the player moves to the location. If not, the ghost will send one more vision card to help you advance.Once the location is correct, the games move on to the murder object. The ghosts can send up to seven vision per turn to clarify the message depending on how long it takes each player to guess the correct cards.
After you identify all three correctly, you reach the final turn where the players get a new set of vision cards and have to match the culprit, location, and object to them. If you guess the correct set of cards, you solve the murder and point out the true culprit.
The game has both the story mode and a multiplayer. In the story mode, the game features the tutorial and nine different cases to solve. You start out in the psychic training school to learn the ropes, including how to become possessed by the ghost of the deceased.
First, it’s tough to figure out what’s happening in the game and the tips don’t help much to clarify things. It seems to be two unrelated parts of the game when you match the murderer, location, and object and then you just move on to a completely different set of clues in the final turn.
The gameplay is easy enough, but some parts of it seem illogical.
Mysterium has easy controls. You just have to tap on the correct cards and hope you guessed them right. It’s up to the players who play as the psychics to use the clues by the ghost to solve the mystery of the terrifying murders.
The Mysterium game features online multiplayer for up to seven players, which works cross-platform between Android, iOS and Steam versions.
There are four multiplayer options which are good reasons to launch the game more than one time. "Quick Play" puts you into any available multiplayer game as quickly as possible. "Online" play offers a custom game where you can adjust many options like the number of players, difficulty levels, and whether you want to be the ghost, a psychic, or either. "Blitz" mode offers short games with 4, 5, or 6 players. And in "Solo" mode you play with AI collaborators.
This digital version of the Mysterium board game will set you back $6.99. Plus, you can purchase additional cases and cards from expansion packs in the in-game shop.
Mysterium doesn’t seem like a great candidate for a digital game. The premise of it is solid, and it probably works well when playing with the people you know, but against AI or even in the multiplayer chat room, the atmosphere is lost.
The game takes quite a lot of getting used to. And even when it clicks you are going to find it severely lacking the level of engagement a successful board game should have.
The developers could put more effort into the game by giving the characters a voice, introducing a narrator for the long paragraphs of the storyline, and introducing a card shuffler for when no cards match any images.
Mysterium is not a particularly clear, challenging, or rewarding experience. Not all board games need a digital version, and Mysterium is better to be left on the tabletop.
- Fun characters depiction
- Mysterious stories
- Easy controls.
- May get confusing for newbies
- Not an engaging experience
- The lack of player population in multiplayer.