I’m a tabletop gamer. I love that board games have become something that people are getting back into. Gone are the days where we try not to kill our family over a round of Monopoly every week. Gone are the days where we throw a table over because someone landed on our game piece in Sorry and made us go back to the start. We live in a day in age where we can get frustrated and angry at each other because your best friend made our character lose all their money, goods, and placement in a 3 hour game of Scythe. A study says that our brains can’t decipher the difference between a tabletop game being a game and being real. Our emotions get the best of us, but that is an editorial for another day. I say all this to let you know my love of these types of game because I had the treat of playing a tabletop game that I love, as a PC game. Complete with spooky soundtrack and a fun and new story involved.
Mysterium is a psychic clue game. You either play as a ghost or as a psychic trying to talk to the ghost. In the tabletop version, the ghost cannot talk, but the ghost can use a series of knocks to tell whether a psychic is right or not in their guess. The video game is the same concept. Here is how a normal game goes: The ghost has 7 séance cards. Each psychic has a suspect, a location, and a weapon (ala, Clue). There are 7 chances for the psychics to guess what the ghost is trying to tell them. So, one hour (round) will have the ghost give as many cards, out of the 7, to each player to help them understand who the suspect is. This keeps happening until all psychics have figured out their clues or until the 7 rounds is up. If every psychic is able to decipher their clues, then they move on to the next part of the game. If even just one psychic isn’t able to guess their suspect, location, or weapon, everyone loses. Essentially this becomes a bit of a co-op game. There is no antagonist except the murderer, who is an NPC, and time. Now, if all psychics move on, things get a bit tricky. Throughout the game, the psychics can vote on if they think their fellow colleagues are correct or not in their guesses. Each time they put a token with a check mark or an X and were correct in their assumption, they earned a point. If you have enough points by the end of the game, you get a special bonus. At the end of the game, the ghost needs to lay out 3 cards to get you to guess whose combination of suspect, location, and weapon is the correct answer. The point system tells who can see all 3 cards or just 1 or 2. If you have 9 or more points, you get to see all 3 cards. If you have 6, you get to see 2 cards, less than that, you only see one of the cards. The other trick is, you don’t know which card is tied to the suspect, location, or weapon. A vote takes place on which one is correct and the person with the most points, gets to be the electoral college and choose for everyone else. If the choice is correct, everyone wins. The ghost gets to go back to being at peace and the psychic has helped solve the mystery.
The story mode was a nice addition to the game. I liked getting to go through and learn the basics. The first 4 séances are your tutorial to the game. You get to play as a brand-new psychic and also at one point, as the ghost. It’s a lot of fun to get to try out the mechanics in a story. You are solving a huge mystery that spans a good 2 hours. I feel like that is just enough to help you master the game. I don’t want to give away the story, because I believe it’ll be a nice surprise for players of the tabletop game and anyone new to the game itself.
Let’s be fair though, if you are picking up Mysterium on the PC, you aren’t only here for the story, you’re here for the multiplayer. Unfortunately, this is where the game lacks. There aren’t enough people online for a decent match up. Every time I logged in to play a match, I saw maybe 10 people at most in the lobby and they were all playing games with their friends. This is one of those games that you should have a group of friends who love playing it and everyone buys a copy. The match I did get to play, everyone went smoothly and there was no lag or interference. Another multiplayer feature the game has built in is Pass and Play, which Is having all your friends crowded around a computer. I see issues coming up with being able to see what your friends are doing, but if you can get around that, then it saves space on your kitchen table.
The PC game has all the cards that the tabletop game has. It’s beautifully illustrated and the cards can be seen in better detail on the computer. There are a few new cards that you earn by playing different modes and the story itself. Those cards are fun, but they don’t change the game. There are different DLC card packs that you can buy to change up the cards you get. I will tell you this, if you are going to keep playing, it’s worth picking up some of the packs. You will see a lot of the same cards popping up after a bit of playing.
All in all, I think Mysterium is worth the money you pay for it, especially if you are a fan of the tabletop game. Set up your candles, lay out those tarot cards, call out to the spirits, turn on your PC and dive into a spooky, fun mystery.
REVIEW CODE: A PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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