Mrs. Peacock with the candlestick in the conservatory

Mysterium ready to cross over to the other side

Mysterium was one of the victims from the famous Colt Express fallout of 2016. You might remember that Colt Express was launched by Asmodee with much aplomb, only to be met with rather dour reviews especially concerning the state of its multiplayer system. Asmodee quickly pushed back the releases of Mysterium and Potion Explosion to 2017 to work things out. I’m not sure if you noticed, but it’s 2017. As such, we can expect Mysterium to materialize this Thursday on all platforms.

Mysterium was the darling board game of 2015, but it holds up quite well today. It’s played with asymmetric teams and, yet, is fully cooperative. If one team loses, everyone loses. The story revolves around a murder and a group of parapsychologists who come to speak to the deceased in order to solve the crime. One player plays the ghost while the others play the investigators. Each player is assigned a suspect, location, and weapon and the ghost has to get each investigator to figure out which three belong to each player. After that’s done, the investigators vote on which character, weapon, and location they think are tied to the murder and, if correct, win the game.

The twist is that the ghost cannot speak. Instead, he sends the investigators visions in the form of cards that are a cross between M.C. Escher, HR Giger, and Tim Burton laced with a bit of peyote. They’re bonkers, and yet that’s all the investigators have to go on to determine their culprits.

The heart of the game is the investigators discussing what the cards mean and trying to figure out which of the suspects they relate to. How this will work in a digital medium is anyone’s guess, but the app does have in-game chat.

Mysterium will be going live on iOS, Android, and Steam on Thursday. We don’t have an exact time yet, but we’re hoping to have a review up close to its release, or by early next week at the latest.

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Notable Replies

  1. This is out. Would love to hear how it plays as a solo game.

  2. It got a 1 star over at PT and from the sound of it, it wouldn’t strike my fancy. Sounds like a game that just shouldn’t have been made digital.

  3. I found that review rather uninformative.

  4. ONE star from the Site That Used To Be Good.

    The mind boggles. Their five-star games must perform actual sexual acts upon the user, or something.

  5. PocketGamer granted it 3/10 and a “boring game with little to offer” comment.

    pretty much the same negative judgement.

    i’m okay with a 1-star rating for another complete online MP disaster.

    recent 5-star games on PT: Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic, Severed, The Quest HD, Lost Portal, Invisible Inc., Pathfinder Adventures, Twilight Struggle, Imbroglio, Warbits and more.
    no complaints about “sexual acts” afaik :smirk:

  6. I’ve seen comments that the MP works just fine. But it didn’t for the reviewer, so … one star?

    I’m calling it now – they are going to have to amend that review. Or just stop using a star-based system.

  7. Why would they have to amend the review?

    The reviewer says in the comments that his score still would be 1-star even if multiplayer had worked for him because he didn’t enjoy the game.

    His editor also adds comments to the effect that he is supporting the review and the chosen star score. (He also reserved space for an update on multiplayer once more people are online.)

    It’s not like anyone actually takes PT seriously anymore. The editor also acknowledges the recent decline in readership. So who’s going to force them to amend it?

    Also, for the record, I’ve never received any complaints about the Twilight Struggle app and these alleged “sexual acts”…

    P.S. One of the best things about Stately Play is that @TheDukester has returned in all of his glory!

  8. Also, for the record, I’ve never received any complaints about the Twilight Struggle app and these alleged “sexual acts”…

    Well, no one is going to COMPLAIN. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

    BTW, I think the requirement for TS to actually … ummmm … do stuff … must be to win a game. Which I still haven’t done. So it’s not like I’m speaking from experience, anyway.

  9. Nick says:

    As the writer of said review, I guarantee it will not be amended. I did make a couple comments regarding my feelings on the Pocket Tactics (or any) star system. I much prefer the lack of stars at SP and look forward to not having to assign them for games I review here.

    I’ll further say that if you like Mysterium and disagree with my review that’s all well and good. Reviews are opinons, after all, and different gaming tastes and interests mean we get far more options out there. It really is a shame you can’t figure out a better—or at least less juvenile and trollish—way to say you disagree. Maybe you can work on that next time? Call it an opportunity for growth in the new year.

    Oh, and thanks for reading!

  10. Call it an opportunity for growth in the new year.

    Oh! So, close! You ALMOST made it. But you just … could … not … resist. Couldya?

    That moral high ground … man, it can get pretty slippery.

    BTW, it’s not so much that I disagree with the review. It’s that it was a shitty review. It told me nothing, other than the fact that you basically couldn’t figure out the game.

    Also, a protip: if you’re going to review, grow some thicker skin.

  11. Nick says:

    Believe it or not, I was being serious. Ah, well, maybe next year.

  12. Oh, hi. Since you are here, I thought I’d elaborate on what I said about finding the review uninformative.

    I know everyone doesn’t feel this way, but what I want in a review is for it to help me figure out whether I will like a game or not. I don’t particularly care whether the reviewer likes it. This is something I see frequently in reviews these days. That doesn’t make it a bad review, just not the sort of one that helps me with a purchasing decision. And yes, I know I’m a weirdo.

    I’ve seen some comments from people at TA that seem to like the game, but the most common response seems to be more confusion and “is this all there is?”.

    It’s a real shame, really, that the digital conversion of Asmodee titles has been rough. Still holding out hope for potion explosion.

  13. rinelk says:

    Duke, I’ve long appreciated your sharp mind, as both commenter and competitor. Here’s my current dilemma: some people who write great reviews have skin that isn’t super thick, and lots of readers don’t. I want exposure to their thoughts, too. People need to feel like they can write both for the site and the forums without risking reactions which are going to feel abusive to them, or I’ll lose access to those thoughts. One option is swinging the banhammer early and often. That’s not really my style, but Owen created my favorite internet forum with that policy, so I can see justification for it. The other pole is to make the forums something of a free-fire zone, but then we drive away an awful lot of people. So I’m interested in finding some middle ground, and I’d love your thoughts on how we can proceed without scaring off the folks who aren’t so thick-skinned.

    If it helps at all, with me, you can go to town. I don’t think I have thick skin so much as an exaggerated case of obtuseness, but it works out to much the same thing; I very rarely take offense at people bringing the snark. And I’d love your feedback on anything I write, especially negative feedback, and most especially if you’re willing to expand on it if I have questions about how to improve. But I get rather more protective of others in this little community we’re building here, and I’ll feel bad if I have to ban you, but not as bad as I’ll feel if you go overboard with someone else and drive them away, when I could have protected them.

  14. A[quote=“rinelk, post:14, topic:215”]
    and I’ll feel bad if I have to ban you, but not as bad as I’ll feel if you go overboard with someone else and drive them away, when I could have protected them.

    From the really old guy who has been on way too many forums over the years:

    I’d rather have Duke around. Sure, he’s too acerbic too often, so what? It’s real world and despite my own differences of opinions over the years, I’d rather see Duke contributing his own rather sharp style of critique. There’s really not much to lose having to endure the barbs. And the fights are over quickly. This is hardly the kind of stuff for which the word “ban” needs to be mentioned, is it?

    As well, I’ll be happy to tell Duke to take it down a notch whenever he feels he has the opening for the kick to the head. Cool it, Dude. Just critique.

    [edits finished]

  15. rinelk says:

    I like having Duke around, too, and if everyone were the same, we’d be okay. There might be something lost in considerate, polite expression, but it would absolutely be worth it. But I’m aware of people who have a wide variety of histories and experiences which leave them intolerant of abuse. What I fear is that, because I spend a lot of time in BGG’s RSP forum, I’m so inured to awful behavior that I don’t even notice some things which will drive other people away.

    But I know this much–Owen did a survey back in the old days of PT, and our respondents were overwhelmingly male (90 or 95%, IIRC). I just don’t believe the community of people who could enjoy his writing about games was that thoroughly gender-skewed, so that’s one obvious signal that something’s driving people away. I want our forums to adopt policies which mean we hear from as many of our readers as possible. Even a person who can take a rough conversation may prefer a nice one, and I have the very strong impression that an itchy trigger finger does more to grow forums than to shrink them.

    So, yeah–for now, let’s just chill, and try to encourage one another to be constructive. But I’d be very interested to hear by private message from anyone who’d prefer not to engage in the forums unless we’re more active about discipline.

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