Mysterium, by Libellud, is a game of deduction. A group of players work as a team to decipher the true meanings of cryptic ‘visions’ sent from a ghost. Mysterium is highly thematic with gorgeous components, allowing players to be inventive and interact with lots of table discussion.
In Mysterium, players take on the roles of gifted mediums with the ability to communicate with the undead. One player becomes the ghost whose spirit is doomed to haunt the mansion forever after becoming the victim of a hideous crime. This player attempts to reveal to the others the truth of what actually happened; who murdered them, how they did it and where it took place. Each medium is secretly given a selection of three potential combinations, noted behind the ghost player’s cardboard screen. The mediums are working towards their own goals independent of each other. However, they still work as one team. All players win or lose as a group.
The twist is that the ghost is unable to communicate in any way, other than to give the other players a selection of highly stylistic dreamlike images on tarot cards. These are dealt to each individual player, once per round, to help them correctly identify their targets. Each card is a beautiful piece of surreal artwork, which can be read in many ways. It is up to the mediums to try to interpret the ghost’s subtle nudges. The ghost can only present selected images from their hand of cards, which can limit what they want to say immeasurably, often to comic effect.
Cards that show the potential suspects, weapons and locations are placed on the table across three levels. Each round, a medium will place one of their markers on a card confirming their choice. Once a player correctly guesses part of their combination they can progress to the next one. Other players can also gain bonus points for agreeing or disagreeing with their fellow mediums’ choices.
Mysterium continues over 7 rounds. If the mediums each manage to gather their personal combination and progress through the 3 separate levels, then the final round takes place. All players’ options are revealed on the table. At this point, the mediums receive one more round of visions. They have to work out whose combination was actually the true story of what happened to the ghost. If they guess correctly, then the ghost can rest peacefully and everyone wins.