Mysterium is a cooperative board game where players take on the roll of ghost or psychic to discover what lead to their deaths. The game launched in 2015 and was a big hit amongst board game fans. Today, Asmodee released the game on iOS and you can now play it alone with AI companions, or with players around the world.
Are you a ghost or a psychic?
Players take on the role of either ghost or psychic to discover who murdered the poor, unsuspecting victim. There are three steps to solving the mystery. Who, where, and with what.
You can choose to play as a ghost, in which case it is your job to help the psychics solve your murder by providing visions. Visions appear in the form of cards. The Ghost chooses from a number of randomly drawn vision cards to show the psychics individually. The vision cards are vague, so the ghost must be creative, but still have the vision tie to the correct answer as best as possible. As the ghost, you'll have to help the psychics figure out where you were murdered, who murdered you, and what you were murdered with.
As the psychic, your job is to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell you in the visions. The vision cards are vague (the ghost's memory is not clear), but you can pick up on clues from the vision to help you with your choices. For example, the ghost might show you a vision card that has a ball of yarn sitting on a table and another with buttons strewn about on the floor. These visions could imply that the ghost is telling you that the seamstress is the killer. This continues through the three phases of who, where, and with what weapon.
Play with groups or all by yourself
The game is cooperative and therefore works best when played with others. When you create or log in with your Asmodee account, you'll be able to play with others. You can join a quick play game where you are paired with others in a multiplayer game that is ready as soon as possible. You can customize a game with the number of players and level of difficulty set to your preferences. You can join a multiplayer Blitz game, where you can play short rounds with more difficult challenges.
You can also play solo by creating a basic solo game where you choose the number of players and level of difficulty. Or, play the Story Mode, where you learn how to play the game while uncovering the full story of why all of these people are being killed by someone that would never have been suspected of murder.
Is it any good?
The short answer is yes. I was able to play Story Mode and a few solo games ahead of the launch of Mysterium and I loved it. It looks just like the board game, but is way easier to set up and keep organized. Plus, I get to play it by myself. I don't have to wait for my friends to be up for a night of gaming.
I have not, however, had the opportunity to play any multiplayer games or take advantage of the chat functions (as of writing this, the game is still not available to the public, so online features are not available). I'll update when I've had a chance to try out these features.
If you've played Mysterium, and like it, then this is a no-brainer. Get the game. You'll love it. It looks and plays like the physical board game and even has a few additional features that bring the game to life on your iPhone or iPad (I play it on my iPad because I prefer using the larger screen).
If you've never heard of Mysterium, this game might have a bit of a learning curve for you. Even Story Mode doesn't provide a whole lot of explanation of how to play. You can go into the settings section to find out more, but some of the mechanics are just not clear. If you do buy it, I suggest playing though Story Mode and jumping into a couple of solo games before trying to join a multiplayer game, just to get your sea legs.