The online Mysterium game setup from Asmodee on Steam, with the ghost offering visions to the psychics by choosing cards that hint at the suspects you are trying to lead them to.
Online version of Mysterium through Asmodee on Steam

Get out your crystal ball and your talisman, it’s time to deduce a murder!

I admit this comes as no surprise – you know you always wanted to use your psychic abilities to solve a decades-old murder mystery. Well, look no further because you can do so in Mysterium.

Play as a clairvoyant investigator gathering clues to determine who the murderer is, where the crime took place, and what weapon was used. Or become the victim through transference and play as the ghost, offering visions to your friends as you try to impart the story of your untimely demise…

Setup for the physical game from the psychic's perspective, looking at the lineup of suspects, locations and weapons arrayed before the looming barrier of the Otherworld.
Physical starting setup with the psychics surveying the lineup before getting visions from the ghost…

Go home to Warwick Manor and prophesy the past.

Each dealing of cards offers a random assortment of beautifully rendered murderers, rooms, and weapons to choose from. Stare perplexed at the exquisitely illustrated surreal visions granted by your ghost as you try to match clues based on subtle idiosyncrasies and/or glaring commonalities, depending on which psychics you ask and the ghost’s luck of the draw.

The more you play the more nuances you’ll notice. Hone your mind reading capabilities as you start to develop a mental connection with your friends, picking out those details that stand out to you again and again. Because you’ll never unsee that invisible doughnut car ever again…

The other side of the screen, showing the complexities of tracking all of the cards associated with which psychics you are playing with.
The ghost’s view from the other side of the Ether…

Or go virtual if you don’t want to go home…

An online version of Mysterium is also available through Asmodee on Steam where you can meet old & new friends and A.I. to solve the crime together. But be forewarned, don’t call a garden implement a hoe unless you want to answer to her tool – you can be totally censored for this. And the A.I. has some interesting ideas about connectivity from which it cannot be distracted, especially if as the ghost you accidentally swapped clues while offering visions in your confused and blundering incorporeal state. Because there’s just no coming back from the dead after that.

Another image of the interface for the online version showing how many turns remain to offer clues to the psychics o steer them to guess the right lineup, this time showcasing weapons.
Online interface for Mysterium through Asmodee on Steam

I give Mysterium an average of 3.75 Cthulus.

3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

The physical board game earns 3.5 out of 5 Cthulus. There is a lot of setup and the complexities of ghosting are much greater than just ignoring your friends – it requires your very own hideaway screen and well-honed card-tracking abilities.  And the psychics are dependent upon the ghost to determine the course of the action for all that they can chide one another about how good their guesses are.  So the game itself kind of depends on what kind of friends you invite over to Warwick Manor to play.  Well that and the luck of the draw, but as psychics we all know that goes without saying.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
The final sequence of the online version in which the ghost has chosen the actual lineup and offered clues to all of the psychics to pick the correct one.
Online interface for Mysterium through Asmodee on Steam

The online version earns 4 out of 5 Cthulus. This adaptation is wonderfully true to the original board game, with the beautifully blended art styles and all of the same inherent difficulties as well as some new ones thrown in for added flavor…  It is a lot easier to play and clean up without all that dealing and arranging cards, and the virtual platform is fun and immersive for a card game. The price point is good and the interface is easy to learn.  The music is catchy and well-suited, although it can get repetitive after a while. There is even a solo story mode that helps to teach you the game so you can learn how frustrated you will get with the A.I. interpretive strategy.

But, as I hinted at before, the A.I. makes some interesting decisions based on whatever is haunting it, and it will try to train you to alter your strategy accordingly lest you all risk failing out otherwise.  And I have been censored in the chat feature for using the word “hoe” to describe, well, an actual hoe, like the tool that you would use in a garden. Fortunately a moderator came in and revived my chat ability but it was a little late to save us that round. And note: I cannot speak to what it’s like to play with random players on the forum, I have only ever done so with my totally clairvoyant real world friends who have logged in at the same time, you know, like we do…

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Mysterium physical game box and time tracking pieces.
Mysterium box design and time-tracking pieces…

This unique cooperative deduction game hails from Libellud.

As always, if you buy anything from the links provided, we will get some $ back. And check out more game reviews on Haunted MTL here.

About the Author

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

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