What: Mysterium is a co-operative murder mystery game where one of you is a ghost sending visions of your demise
Players: best with four or five, but the box says 2-7
Time: 42 minutes (is the very oddly precise time on the box)
People: For anyone, it’s a nicely paced thinky game
Remember: Spooky ghosts can’t talk
Available: ~£35 here and ~$40 here

The Gist

Why we recommend it

Cluedo is pretty shit.

Mysterium is basically Cluedo.

Wait back up.

Cluedo is pretty shit, don’t play it. Mysterium is basically nothing like Cluedo other than it could have been Mr Creepy, in the basement with the syringe.

Mysterium theory

In Cluedo (or Clue for you Americans, as they assumed you wouldn’t understand the mixture of the word Clue and Ludo) you have to solve the mystery of a murder for someone you don’t care about and you might even be the murderer and not know it.

If you’ve played the modern version you’ll also know you can now be a video game billionaire or Jack Mustard the ex-footballer. I imagine this was decided in an important Hasbro board meeting “MILLENNIALS LIKE FIFA DON’T THEY?”

Oh and don’t worry all the female characters are now vapid socialites like the TV starlet with her tits out who’s backstory is “Her biggest fear is that the press will uncover the shady things she did to claw her way to the top. “. *sigh*

Cluedo: Discover secrets characters

In Mysterium however, it’s one of your friends who has been murdered. You care about your friends right? Well then figure it out! They can even help as well as they are now…

…A ghost

Not a chatty ghost. More of a silent haunt your dreams kind of ghost, but a nice one. They can only communicate through visions. Which are these Dali-esque surrealist cards

mysterium cards

That’s all you have to go on. It means not only making giant thought leaps of logic but also hoping your friends will be on the same stupid wavelength.

In a recent game I needed to tell my mother (my own mother!) how I had been murdered with a syringe. (Mum if you’re reading this, I’m fine, I don’t do drugs or use needles. I have had this horrible pain in my back for a month though…I’m sure it’s fine)

mysterium syringe

This is all I had to go on

Mysterium hand of cards

I went with these two

Mysterium vision

My logic was. Well this one is quite red and so is the syringe card… and this one has a spiky fence. You know spiky, like a syringe is. I gave her the cards and silently stared…

“Hmmm…errrr….well I don’t think it’s the gun”

She gave absolutely no reasoning or logic behind why she had immediately discounted the gun, but ok that’s fine she was on the right track.

“Could it be the knife?”

“No mum it definitely isn’t” I screamed silently inside. I stared a bit harder hoping I could telepathically communicate with her like a real ghost would. Although if that had worked it’s probably just as cheaty as saying it out loud… so don’t try telepathy during Mysterium.

“Hmmm well, they’re both quite weird looking cards”

Every card in this game is weird looking mum. That’s not going to help you.

“OH! I’ve got it!”

Has she? She’s given me no indication she’s anywhere near getting it.

“It’s the syringe”

Holy fuck she did it. Of course she did it. She’s my mother, she’s known me since birth. She knows how I think. How I feel. My thought process.

“They look like hallucinations, so that must be caused by drugs from a syringe”

Oh. I guess she doesn’t think like me. Well at least she got it right.

Mysterium Suspects

If you are wondering if the finally found the murderer. They didn’t. I gave them all a card with a hat on it. They chose the old sweet woman with the hat instead of the CLEARLY MURDEROUS CREEPY FELLA WITH THE WEAPONS. Well…she’s behind bars now.

At least Mr Creepy can still do more murders so we can all play more Mysterium. oooOOOOoooo (that’s a ghost saying “That’s cool I like playing mysterium”)

If you want to be the best ghost and show off to all your friends get Mysterium go here UK people and here US people and you’ll also be helping Best Play. We knew you were a good ghost.