Mysterium game review

A masterful mystery.

Mysterium board game 2013 cover
Release date
2013 Dec (first edition), 2015 (newest edition)
Gender
Family, cooperative, party
Players
2-7
Playtime
40 min.
Difficulty
Easy
Age
10+
Publisher
Libellud
Our Score
8
Your rating3 Votes
7.8
8
Funny stuff

1894, December 13th, during a late night at Warwick’s manor, a costume party has gone wrong…A tragedy happened, one of the servants has died. During a 5 month investigation, no clear evidence was gathered by the police, so the death of the servant was concluded as an accident.

30 years later, now that the manors belong to clan MacDowell, there are strange, unexplained things happening. A crystal gazer Conrad Mac Dowell seems to think that there is a ghost in the mansion somehow related to the accident that happened 30 years ago. He invites his colleagues (psychics) from all over the world to gather and help to solve this mystery.

Mysterium board game – A mystery of Warwick’s manor. A game for 2 to 7 players with an approximate length of 45 minutes. One player is a ghost, while the rest players – the psychics, who are trying to figure out the circumstances of how the ghost died and who is the real killer! This is a picture based game, that is a bit similar to Dixit. A ghost provides players with pictures to guess the murder location, person, and object or murder item.

Review details

To summarise, the game is great. Almost a masterpiece, especially the renewed addition released in 2015. It has a great atmosphere, interesting lore really interesting gameplay that is easy to get into. Let us get into more detail and start with our first category for a more precise review.

The review will be covered in the following structure:

  1. Fun
  2. Replay value
  3. Art & parts
  4. Game price

Please note that this review covers the 2013 Mysterium edition. 2015 game edition has a few new rule tweaks, as well as some new game components.

Feel free to read the review details, or just scroll down to the review summary.

Fun

In this game, each psychic goes through its own journey to set-up a link with the ghost to learn an important piece of evidence on what happened during the main evening. Thas peace is a combination of three – a location, an individual and an object – a combination of pictures that are assigned to each player by the ghost. Of course, there are more pictures in the game that are unrequired and only act as confusion for the psychics, but eventually, every player must guess its own set of three cards in order to try solving the final mystery.

So the ghost provides other pictures to players as messages and clues to guess their sets.

This brings a very pleasant experience, really!. As a ghost, you get to listen to how other players try to interpret the pictures you give them. Sometimes the players are on the point, sometimes they think completely different than the ghost. And let us not forget that there are always parodies, making weird connections between pictures, that are quite silly and suddenly the psychics hear the giggling ghost!

And that is quite similar to a psychic’s role perspective. You get some weird pictures that do not make much sense! You need to dig deep, find the hidden meaning, trough discussion with other psychics, or utilizing your mind at most of your capabilities to learn how the ghost thinks! This feels really interesting and exciting, especially when you start feeling the pressure of the rounds that are coming one after another, tick-tack, tick-tack.

Myserium (2013) – Ghost cards

One of the issues that we find about this game is its downtime that becomes noticeable when there are 5 or more players. With every player, the game becomes longer and longer, eventually, this could take even 2-3 hours with 7 players. This results in quite some downtime – psychics must wait until the ghost reviews all the cards and selects the pictures to provide for all the players.

After that, it takes rather a long time for a ghost to wait until all the players make their selections. Going into the mid-game or so players seem to get tired, lose focus or get bored to wait… So we think this is probably best to play the game with 4 players. If all players know how to play it, maybe even with 5 players it is still pretty decent.

Replay value

There is not much to say, except that Mysterium board game has really high replay value. It is natural for players to want to change their roles, give other players an opportunity to be the ghost. This always brings different experiences even with the same people. On top of that, there is a quite large variability in terms of location, individual and object cards – 18 pictures of each. And every game you can get all sorts of combinations between the cards, and 84+ ghost cards.

I think that the game components provide enough variety to have a truly unique experience with the same players for at least 4-5 times. After that, this starts to get slightly repetitive. But his can be solved with the expansion of Mysterium: Secrets and lies that provide additional cards of characters, locations, items, and ghost cards.

Art & parts

Pictures in the cards are truly beautiful. They are very creative, very detailed and varying. They seem to have similar aesthetics as Dixit pictures. Each player gets its crystal ball of unique color that is large, strong and… well, it kind of reminds a bit of the green lantern rings.

Mysterium (2013) – Clairvoyance crystals/balls

The quality of parts and tokens is good enough as well. After having a game box that has gone through a few tens of gameplays, probably, even more, the components are in pretty good shape!

Mysterium colorblindness review

The image below shows the simulated view of 4 types of color deficiency.

Mysterium (2013) color deficiency views

Please note that the image shows the maximum extent (100%) of color deficiency. And based on that, we do spot some inconveniences.

First of all, psychics and ghost card decks (the backside) seem to be almost identically colored, and you need to pay close attention to their images in order to differentiate them.

In addition to that, some of the crystal balls and as well associated tokens seem to be very similar in some color deficiency cases as well. The round tokens are a little bit easier to disclose, which would help to differentiate between player crystal balls as well, but you would need to pay attention to memorize player’s card choices, but that should probably not be a problem for partial color deficiency cases.

Mysterium board game colorblindness rating: B (Playable)

Price

Speaking about Mysterium board game price to value ratio, this seems fair. For the newest edition, you also get the board that helps a ghost to isolate the cards from other player’s sight. So all in all – we think that the price is ok. You can check the price of the Mysterium game at the end of the review.

Mysterium game review
Iccy piccy buga-buga ghost stories.
A thrilling mystery of “how your ghost, psychic friends think”! A wonderful board game that is fun & very entertaining. Every gameplay is different. When playing with children I guess it is best not to emphasize the homicide story.
Fun
8.1
Replay Value
7.9
Art & Parts
8.1
Price
7.7
Your rating3 Votes
7.8
Positives
Great game overall
Fits well with all kinds of groups
Wonderful art
Negatives
Gets a little too long and downtime with 5+ players
8
Funny stuff

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