Review: Mysterium Park – the ominous city of Derry
At first glance, it would be an ordinary small American town. But there are so many terrible stories revolving around him that a chill runs down his spine. An ordinary person will not just go on holiday here, because he is in danger of a terrible fate. But we have to. We promised to help the director of the local park. It will be useless to him, but the spirit and the perpetrator will receive justice.
Since there are ghosts again, you would somehow expect the game to have something to do with the very popular deduction party game Mysterium. The novelty is called Mysterium Park and it is really a slightly different and smaller variant of ghost storytelling. Its authors are Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko, who published it under the auspices of Libellud. The illustrations were taken care of by Xavier Collette and M81 Studio. And the distribution is in the hands of Esdevium Games.
On the lid we see a tent that players will have to enter to start playing. And even this time, right at the beginning of the game, he splits two roles – one becomes a ghost, while everyone else is the media who listens to him and tries to understand his message. The agenda must also be reflected in this, where the two groups must sit at a table opposite each other.
A group of psychics will lay out a game plan in front of them and place a counter at one on the move indicator. Each player chooses a color and takes an intuition piece and an innocent token. The remaining ghost player takes three ticket tokens as well as seven vision cards. He places one plot card in front of him in the stand, prepares the other two nearby.
Players have a total of six rounds at their disposal, and only if successful can they proceed to the final determination of the culprit and location. Most of the time, a player’s color will play a very important role, because on the plot card, their colors are each assigned to one of the nine suspects on the game board.
Each of the detectives must guess the character that belongs to his color. To this end, the spirit deals one or more vision cards to represent the culprit or place. Each time he chooses from seven vision cards and can inspire players with one or more cards. All the media can consult with each other, show each other cards and negotiate in such a way that, in the end, everyone is able to choose the right innocent card for themselves as likely as possible. All characters marked with colored dots corresponding to the players on the plot card only mark innocent ones.
But that is not the end of the phase. The ghost has yet to appear and tell all the guards if their tips were correct or not. If by chance one of them hits the witness’s field instead of the innocent, the ghost will tell him openly and he can move his pointer. But the witness leaves the plan. Then the evaluation begins and the player who missed takes the piece back, but keeps his vision card. The successful player can discard his character’s card and place his piece on the square that indicates the correct tip.
Regardless of the number of successes, if there is at least one undecided innocent left, players must continue to the next round. Unsuccessful media will receive a new vision card from the spirit, which should further refine their choice.
Once everyone has guessed and only three suspects remain, players can proceed to the next stage. In the second round, the character will be replaced by nine characters of randomly distributed locations. The ghost draws a new card with guides, which again match the color of the players. The whole game part is played the same way again, but the players are still ticking for time. If they fight through the discovery of all innocent characters and locations where nothing happened, during six rounds, then they can advance to the finals for a reward. Otherwise, after the sixth round, their effort ends in failure.
The ghost then prepares the final round by creating three character + location pairs after shuffling. And after picking up a new plot card, he learns from the revealed Roman number which pair is the right one. And it is her identity that she will now try to communicate to all listeners, with the help of two cards – one linked to the perpetrator and the other to the location.
Players have a chance to negotiate freely and try to identify similar elements in the pictures. Then he announces his choice to the ghost, and at that moment it is clear. Either all the participants succeeded together and the perpetrator is caught up or they understood the signs from the spirit wrong, they arrested the wrong culprit and lose.
Mysterium Park retains all the important elements of the original big Mysterium and does not forget that every game of deduction is mainly about communication between players. All team participants must constantly negotiate. The exception is, of course, the role of the spirit, which deviates from the norms and imposes the most difficult task on this member.
It is not at all easy to succeed. At the beginning, players have six attempts at their successes, but then the finals seem a little more random. One attempt at everything is just a little bit of luck. Maybe that’s why winning the Mysterium Park game is not that easy. The game will test you, also thanks to a sufficient supply of cards (which, of course, would not be harmed by any expansion).
It is good that the authors still thought about chance. Thus, a ghost player can change his hand with the help of tokens if he is not satisfied with it. Thanks to this, he has the chances of the whole team sitting at the table in his hands, because it is his choice of pictures that will ultimately decide whether the session will end in success or in an unpleasant defeat.
The big difference between the two versions is, of course, the processing. The magnificent conception of the original Mysterium evokes in players the feeling that they are really participating in some massive session. In addition, even the player in the role of a ghost enjoys everything to the maximum thanks to the famously designed screen. It just didn’t save money, and in this case it’s a big plus.
A minor innovation preserves most of the mechanisms, adds quick preparation, but deprives us of the third part in the form of a murder weapon. In addition, the correct and incorrect answer chips disappeared from the game. In general, however, it is still very pleasantly difficult, although a drop less complex. On the other hand, this is reflected in the game time, which stabilizes just a drop above the half-hour limit for very fast games.
But the role of the spirit still remains very complex. Communicating a complex concept to the teammates, such as the appearance of one of the characters, is often a superhuman task in one round. But then when working with multiple visions, it’s not easy to put them together to make sense.
The game for two, which works great, also deserves praise. There is a lack of communication and negotiation, but even so, guessing and trying to understand between the two parties are functional. At the same time, the player on the side of the psychics uses exactly two tokens, which keeps guessing feasible within the time limit.
Mysterium Park is another beautiful example of how complicated games can be simplified while maintaining great fun. But at the same time, it also shows that sometimes simply spectacular workmanship cannot be replaced. We are very happy to recommend Mysterium Park, not only if you are looking for a portable version of Mysterium.
Review: Mysterium Park – the ominous city of Derry
Mysterium Park is actually such a tiny sequel to the game Mysterium, whose box weight is really significant. This is because its space is used to the maximum so that players can hold all the sessions needed to catch the perpetrator. With the help of picture cards, the spirit conveys its vision, and players try to find a connection between these cards and visible perpetrators, thus eliminating innocent suspects. Mysterium Park is a fun deduction game for teams, but also for two, and will not disappoint the owner of the great Mysterium.