by Jareth Groves
Issue 2: Game
Mysterium is a cooperative murder mystery game best described as a subjective version of Clue. The core story behind Mysterium is that mediums have gathered together to communicate with the spirit of a murdered individual and learn the full details of the murder. In this multiplayer game, one player acts as the spirit and all other players are mediums. The defining features of the game are the vision cards that the spirit player uses to give clues. The subjective nature and ambiguity of the cards leave lots of room for different interpretations of what the spirit player is trying to communicate to the rest of the group. The cards are also beautifully illustrated, and every time I have played Mysterium with a new group, the art and components have impressed.
The gameplay itself is simple enough and lends itself to a learn-as-you-go type of play. If you have an experienced spirit player, the rest of the group can work their way through the game with ease. Another benefit of the gameplay is that all players interact with their clues as well as the clues of their fellow players, meaning you will not have long periods of downtime where you are waiting for your turn. Overall, Mysterium is a great game for board game beginners and veterans alike if you have 45 minutes and want to do some interpretive investigations.
Jareth Groves is an environmental consultant. He is also an avid board game enthusiast who has been into the modern board game hobby for around 10 years.