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Review: Mysterium

Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:15 pm

A steady stream of boardgames are getting digital adaptations which almost always means mobile versions as well. No big mystery behind this, of course, mobile gaming is big and getting bigger.

http://www.pockettactics.com/reviews/review-mysterium/

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EICJoe
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Re: Review: Mysterium

Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:20 pm

Updated thoughts on MP from Nick:

I played a five-player online game as a psychic. The game progressed pretty slowly—I'm not sure the Ghost really knew what to do and took quite a while to distribute cards. There was some collaboration between players but not a ton. One of the other psychics and I made a real effort to make suggestions and interact but the other two didn't really say anything all game.

I found the multiplayer experience to be pretty boring. I'm sure it would have been better with a more experienced Ghost that did a better job matching up vision cards to psychics. I'm sure it would have been better if all of the players were fully engaged and chatting as well. I've seen re-tweeted comments from Asmodee Digital that groups of friends are having success playing via Skype, and I can see how that would make the game much more enjoyable.

My review doesn't really change based on getting into multiplayer. If you have a good group of friends and family you can gather and play—preferably with Skype to recreate the tabletop experience to the maximum extent possible—Mysterium might be worth a go. For everybody else it seems too hit or miss, especially given the other issues I pointed out in the review.
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Spooks
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Re: Review: Mysterium

Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:50 pm

This seems overly harsh. While I agree that this is definitely a game best experienced irl, it's a pretty solid adaptation. I've had a few good multiplayer games and it seems to work well. I don't want to tell you you're job but... giving a 1 star review without playing a single multiplayer game and just assuming it will be pants? I think this deserves a second look and at least another star imho

jeffy777
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Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:45 am

1 star? Ouch!

NICKVIGDAHL
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Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:58 am

This seems overly harsh. While I agree that this is definitely a game best experienced irl, it's a pretty solid adaptation. I've had a few good multiplayer games and it seems to work well. I don't want to tell you you're job but... giving a 1 star review without playing a single multiplayer game and just assuming it will be pants? I think this deserves a second look and at least another star imho
I've got enough issues with the game to come to the score without playing a multiplayer game. This...

"You also can't create a game and leave the app to do anything else without losing the game. This means your mobile device is devoted to Mysterium until your game fills and finishes, which could take some time."

...is the biggest and a bit of a deal breaker for me. I want to be able to create a game and then, I don't know, check my email or something while waiting for other players to join???or at a minimum not have to make sure my iPad never times out.

Many gamers are likely fine with this and that's perfectly valid. Reviews are opinions and this is mine. If you read my review and decide the things I don't like about the game don't bother you then by all means buy it. If those things do bother you, well, then I've provided some useful insight into your buying decision.

As for discussion about 1 star versus 2 (or 4 vs 5 in other reviews)...that's an even bigger matter of opinion. Stars are a TLDR shortcut that pretty much everybody interprets different. I often wish Pocket Tactics didn't use them for that very reason.

Narkulus
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Re: Review: Mysterium

Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:38 am

I feel like one star being the lowest score, should be reserved for utter garbage and I don't think the game is utter garbage. It's a two star game for me which means its just not very good. A boring guessing game with some abstract clue cards to mess around with. I've never played the physical game, and judging by this port, probably never will. Clue/Cluedo is more fun, and that's not saying much.

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EICJoe
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Re: Review: Mysterium

Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:47 am

Just to give my thoughts on the matter:

I did talk to Nick about his review when he submitted it, not so much about the 1-Star, but whether some multiplayer time could conceivably change his mind about his base opinion and verdict. He said no, and I trust he knows his own mind on this.

I am still having Nick play some MP over the weekend and the first comment will be updated with some additional impressions, but as Nick mentioned in his own comment he has a fundamental problem with how the MP is designed. It's an opinion he's very much entitled to and its one that doesn't necessarily need to have MP experience in order to convey.

From my POV, it's a question of "Is this an opinion other gamers could reasonably have?" and I decided that it was.

If I'd thought the integrity of this article was going to be severely compromised by not having MP experience, I would have just delayed it till next week. In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have worried so much about trying to have something ready for launch day, but that's more of a mistake on my end and nothing to do with the writers. That was why I spoke to Nick though - he was confident that even if he took the weekend to play more, his opinion and his score wouldn't change and that's the key point here.

Nick did what he was asked to do, and he did it as professionally as he could under the circumstances. If your opinion differs from him that's fine, but let's not start talking about whether or not he did his job properly.
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
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NICKVIGDAHL
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Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:49 pm

I feel like one star being the lowest score, should be reserved for utter garbage and I don't think the game is utter garbage. It's a two star game for me which means its just not very good. A boring guessing game with some abstract clue cards to mess around with. I've never played the physical game, and judging by this port, probably never will. Clue/Cluedo is more fun, and that's not saying much.

Thank you for your comment. It illustrates my point perfectly! It sounds like your take doesn't differ much from my own. What you object to is one star versus two because of what you "feel" one star means. I feel it means something a little different. I'd wager if we lined up ten people and asked what 1 star means we'd get a bunch of somewhat different responses. There's nothing wrong with that, it's completely expected in fact, but it exposes the limits of using stars to convey opinion.

Narkulus
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Re:

Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:33 pm

I feel like one star being the lowest score, should be reserved for utter garbage and I don't think the game is utter garbage. It's a two star game for me which means its just not very good. A boring guessing game with some abstract clue cards to mess around with. I've never played the physical game, and judging by this port, probably never will. Clue/Cluedo is more fun, and that's not saying much.

Thank you for your comment. It illustrates my point perfectly! It sounds like your take doesn't differ much from my own. What you object to is one star versus two because of what you "feel" one star means. I feel it means something a little different. I'd wager if we lined up ten people and asked what 1 star means we'd get a bunch of somewhat different responses. There's nothing wrong with that, it's completely expected in fact, but it exposes the limits of using stars to convey opinion.
Agreed, a multi starred rating would be a lot more informative imo. Maybe an overall star rating along with sub-ratings for fun, implementation, phone and tablet interface, multiplayer, etc. An overall glance at the star breakdowns would be very informative showing the games strengths and weaknesses.

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EICJoe
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Re: Re:

Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:09 pm

I feel like one star being the lowest score, should be reserved for utter garbage and I don't think the game is utter garbage. It's a two star game for me which means its just not very good. A boring guessing game with some abstract clue cards to mess around with. I've never played the physical game, and judging by this port, probably never will. Clue/Cluedo is more fun, and that's not saying much.

Thank you for your comment. It illustrates my point perfectly! It sounds like your take doesn't differ much from my own. What you object to is one star versus two because of what you "feel" one star means. I feel it means something a little different. I'd wager if we lined up ten people and asked what 1 star means we'd get a bunch of somewhat different responses. There's nothing wrong with that, it's completely expected in fact, but it exposes the limits of using stars to convey opinion.
Agreed, a multi starred rating would be a lot more informative imo. Maybe an overall star rating along with sub-ratings for fun, implementation, phone and tablet interface, multiplayer, etc. An overall glance at the star breakdowns would be very informative showing the games strengths and weaknesses.
This is one of those things where I've taken over a website that does things a certain way, and has done for a while. I could change the way we approach reviews - our sister Wargamer got rid of scores a while ago, and then of course there's your suggestion Narkulus - but it's not something that can be done lightly.

Given the amount of change that's gone on around here already (and all the people that's scared off), I'm not about to rush into another change, especially as we have other plans for this year as well :)
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
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