Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mysterium Apparates to iOS

Mysterium (iOS app version)
Designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko
App Implementation by Asmodee Digital
Supports Solo Play (Story Mode) and Online Multiplayer
Social Deduction Game

I have always heard a lot about Mysterium the board game, and yet I never got a chance to ever play it...until now! So, this review is from a fresh and new perspective of the game via introduction through the app. The game reminds me a bit of Dixit or Codenames, where you are trying to get others to guess information one person has. You may or may not have good cards to work with, but it is up to the Ghost in this game to try and connect some random pictures with important clues such as who is the killer, where it happened, and with what. Classic murder mystery with a very interesting ambiance and story. I think the theme fits well into the game. The game itself is very fun. I like the artwork and challenge that the cards provide. It can be very frustrating to have a hand of cards as the Ghost and feel like nothing really fits, but there is some enjoyment in the challenge as well.

The app interface is pretty great! Everything is pretty intuitive and it makes for very quick games. The app features a magnifying glass that allows a closer look at the cards, vital for some "visions" to be understood. The games tutorial is well done, I don't see any real big issues. I haven't experienced any crashing of the app or anything, so it seems to be working well with no noticeable bugs I have encountered. The story mode provides a nice little storyline to go with some solo games. I was addicted to it and played probably 8 or 10 times one after the other. The AI is not perfect and can be frustrating, but let's be honest - there are some humans we play with that arnt much better. The goal is still the same, but not knowing all the ins and outs of the AI programming, I imagine they created a probability of one card being matched to another. It works. I am enjoying it anyway.

There are a few options for online play provided and I am so glad they included this option as the game shines with playing with other humans. I have tested out the play with my wife and it worked very well. It's nice that with this app you can get friends together and play even when you are scattered around geographically. I wish the online featured a password protected or private games. This would be a great addition. As far as I could tell, I had to create the game and then have others join quickly before someone else joined in.

I really enjoy Mysterium as experienced from my iOS phone. I suspect it will only get better with time. The other thing I noted was a small number of people online using the app. I imagine this will grow with time and popularity. They also already have an expansion available with an in-app purchase. (I haven't bought the expansion yet, but it is only a matter of time I think.) Overall, the game is well done and I like the mechanics. The app is well made and provides a great experience to the game. After many many many plays, I could see some of the game feeling old as you see the same cards over and over again (thus the expansion would be nice), but for now, I will continue to enjoy Mysterium via my iOS app! If you like games like Codenames or Dixit, definitely try out Mysterium and if you like the board game version of Mysterium, I think you will enjoy the app - just get your friends and relatives on board as well and that is How Lou Sees It!

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