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Subject: First Play of Mysterium by the Board Meeple rss

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Ned Meier
United States
Lake Orion
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First Player Marker, a new series or entries, will take a look at games shortly after the first play through. A full entry will eventually follow. Hope you enjoy.

After hearing about Mysterium months ago on the Dice Tower I have been eagerly awaiting its US release. The other day I was able to get my hands on a copy and get it to the table at our last game night. After so much excitement I was a bit wary after hearing some negative reviews about the Clairvoyance mechanic and not being able to communicate with the ghost during gameplay. I avoided looking at the cards while unboxing the game, but I wasn't totally taken by the components.

Naturally we began the session with an explanation of the rules. While reading the rulebook I was occasionally confused about a few thing, but quick BGG searches cleared up any questions I had. Explaining the game was very easy. I had to look up a few rules to make sure I had them right but everyone seemed mostly clear on the general gameplay. I knew right away which member of our group would play the ghost. Her favorite game is Betrayal at House on the Hill and she loves being the betrayer. I knew she would jump at the chance to be the ghost and she did.

As the ghost passed out the first cards and shared her visions we began discussing and quickly came to the conclusion which suspect belonged to which psychic. This was going to be too easy. As we flipped the timer we quickly put our tokens out and were ready well before time was up. Wrong, wrong, wrong. We were all wrong. How could that be? Round two began and things seemed to become more clear. Nope. We were all wrong again. With some groups this could have ruined the game, but we took it as a challenge. We were now 2 rounds down and not much closer to finding our suspects. As we continued to play and argue about what the ghost was trying to tell us it was obvious everyone, including the frustrated ghost, was having a blast. As the rounds went on we were laughing more than we had in almost any other game, yet it still felt like a game. We were getting closer to the end of the game and were feeling the pressure, as one psychic still hadn't figured out his character suspect yet. As four of the psychics made their three correct guesses we still needed our last psychic to go 3 for 3 in the last three rounds. And he did! Somehow we pulled it off.

At this point we stopped the game because everyone needed to know what the ghost was thinking on one set of clues she game the psychic. Now I know this is against the rules of the game, but we needed to know and everyone was fine with the stoppage. Of course there was no real reason she gave the clues she did, it was the best she could do with the cards she had. We ended up losing, all guessing a different suspect in the final round. I did guess right, but wasn't high enough on the Clairvoyance track to be the one who chose. But as soon as we were done everyone talked about their strategies, and who would be the ghost next and how much fun the game was.

Will this be a game that has replay value? How many times will we get it to the table before we move on? I'm not sure but I do know that this is a game that I can play with all sorts of groups and I can't wait to play again.

To read more about my gaming experiences, including reviews and random thoughts visit my blog at

Thanks for reading,

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