Mysterium Review

Murder! A poor soul has been murdered in this house, and the homeowner has hired a group of mediums to solve the crime and give the spirit peace. One problem – the ghost can’t remember for sure who did it! Through a seance, the ghost sends visions to the mediums to lead them to potential suspects, crime scenes, and murder weapons. It is up to the mediums to work together and decipher the visions, narrow down the field, and find the criminal! Time is limited however – unless the culprit is caught in 7 hours, the magic of the seance will run out and the crime will remain a mystery!

MysteriumLibellud / Asmodee
2-7 Players42 minutes (?)
Ages 10+BGG Weight – 1.92 / 5

DISCLAIMER: There are several expansions to this game, but we are not reviewing them at this time. Should we review them in the future we will either update this review or post a link to the new material here. -T

Mysterium is a cooperative game of deduction in which players take on the roles of mediums trying to solve the murder, and one player takes on the role of the ghost who is haunting the estate. Every turn, the ghost sends Visions (in the form of illustrated cards) to each medium in an attempt to guide them to investigate different suspects, locations, and potential murder weapons. The visions are not always clear, however, so the mediums must use their imaginations and deduction skills to decipher any hidden hints or clues contained in the visions. If all mediums are able to identify their suspects/locations/weapons before the 7th hour has passed, the ghost then sends one final Vision to all mediums to guide them to the true culprit. After receiving and deciphering this final Vision, the mediums must all vote on whom they believe the culprit to be. If the majority of the mediums select the correct culprit, the mystery has been solved and the ghost can be laid to rest! If not, however, the mystery remains and the ghost must wait an entire year before the magic ritual can be performed again…

I love Mysterium. I seriously think it’s a great game. One reason why I love it is because it’s a deduction game that is cooperative. Most of the deduction games I’ve played before are competitive or involve some form of bluffing. And I’m pretty terrible at lying, so I never really do well in those. What I like about Mysterium is that you’re still trying to figure out your own cards, but you’re allowed (and encouraged!) to ask your fellow mediums for their thoughts. It’s cool to see how everyone interprets the Vision cards because someone might notice or see something on your Vision card in a way you didn’t think of on your own. Your friends may be able to provide insight to help you through the game, just as you can help them decipher their clues. Especially since the game can’t be won unless everyone has found their cards, it really is in your best interest to cooperate and help everyone out.

Another thing I love about Mysterium is that it can be played with up to 7 players. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I have 4 siblings, and sometimes finding engaging games for 5+ people can be pretty hard. Not an issue at all with Mysterium. It’s actually a favorite of my siblings to play, so I always bring it with me for holidays and family gatherings! I personally think Mysterium works better at higher player counts, so that really bodes well for me and my family!

One final thing I really like about Mysterium is the dynamic created between the mediums and the ghost player. The ghost is allowed to communicate with the mediums through visions only – no verbal communication at all! That means that as the ghost player, you’re trying to anticipate how each medium will interpret different visions so you can give them the one that will guide them to their specific card. When you’re a medium, you’re trying to think how the ghost player thinks – why did they give me this card and what did they want me to notice? In either role, you’re trying to get in the mind of your counterpart, and that just adds a fun little bonus twist for me.

I think Mysterium is a great game. Deduction drives the game and it keeps you constantly engaged, questioning every card you see. It’s an entertaining and lighthearted cooperative game for any player count, and it thrives with great non-confrontational player interaction. Mysterium was one of the first games in my collection – I was in my FLGS, picked it up off the shelf, and having done no research on it at all, I bought it. And boy oh boy am I glad I did. Definitely give Mysterium a try – it’s a good blend of mystery and fun! Purple Phoenix Games gives it an ethereal 11 / 12.