Gameday First Play – Mysterium

I ain’t ‘fraid no Ghost.

I AM the Ghost!

The ancient legend says the ghost is the soul of the manor’s previous resident, who was unjustly executed for a crime he didn’t commit, more than 100 years ago. Now he tries to use the mysterious signs to tell people the truth about what really happened then, so that justice would be established and he might rest in peace for ever. The specialists in the supernatural were invited to try to understand what the ghost wants to tell and in case of success be honoured by one more victory and receive a generous reward. They have 7 days and 7 nights to reach their goal. If they succeed in time, everyone wins the game (including the ghost).

This game was a recent hit at BGGCon and the mix of “Cludeo and Dixit” had me interested. It’s only available in Polish and Ukrainian so I had to get it imported.

In this game one player is a Ghost and they will be using Dixit style cards to give clues to the Psychics (up to 6 of them) in the form of a ‘Dream’ to point to a Character, Location and then an Item.

Mysterium Cards

The number of each Character, Location or Item in play depends on the player count and difficulty. We were player Normal difficulty which means there are 3 more than the number of players.

The Ghost has 7 cards and can give any number of those 7 to a player to give a clue to their character… being able to pass a larger number of relevant cards can be a blessing, but can also be a curse if they pick up on something you didn’t see and they go off on their own tangent.

Once a player has cards the Ghost draws back up and then hands out cards to the next player, once every player has cards the Oneiromancy phase begins. (Each player can start this phase once they have cards)

Oneiromancy is ‘a form of divination based upon dreams’ where the Psychics will work together to figure out which character the Ghost is leading them too.

This phase makes people look like this…

Mysterium Players

Once they’ve picked they place their colour token on the card. When everyone has finished the Ghost will say who is right or wrong.

Those that are correct move their token up to ‘Location’ and return the Dream cards. Those that are wrong keep their Dream cards to use alongside new ones they’ll receive in the next round.

The calendar advances a day and this repeats until each Psychic has got their own Character, Location or Item.

Once each Psychic has this there is one more mystery to solve, the real Killer.

The Ghost puts out 3 cards, one related to the Character, one to the Location and one to the item but can’t tell the Psychics which is for which. The Character, Location and Item in question is one set of 3 the Psychics have guessed during the game. They then have to decide which set of cards relates to these 3 new Dream cards, known as a ‘Common Dream’.

They have the number of days left to make that many guesses, if they get it, everyone wins. If not, everyone loses.

I’ve played this twice, both times as the Ghost as the first time we failed miserably. Each Psychic needs to get 3 bits of information and have time for the Common Dream so that’s 4 pieces and only 7 turns.

No room for error.

The game is a fun one and as the Ghost it’s really hard to stay quiet. You’re not allowed to talk or give any other clue/information other than the Dream cards. But you’re not a Ghost, you’re there and you can hear them talk themselves out of the correct answer!

Re-playability? Well, there is 84 Dream cards and 19 Character/Locations plus 20 Items so the chances of you have the same Character for the same Psychic with the same Dream card is low. Possible, but low.

In fact, re-playability can hinder the game rather than make it easier. In my second game I played a Dream card and the Psychics started saying “Last game he played this because…”. In my head I was SCREAMING  that was LAST GAME not this game but other than that I kept quiet and got on with it.

Also, some Dream cards have nothing to do with anything and you have to give them something…

I’m looking forward to playing this more in the future but not looking forward to being a Psychic, it looks very difficult.

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