Mysterium Park is a cooperative game of deduction, image-association, and creepy clowns that sees the team taking on the role of psychics solving murders at a fairground, with one player being the ghost trying to guide them to the clues using beautifully illustrated cards.
The game is a standalone sequel to the hit game Mysterium, and spoiler warning: We think it’s better than the original.
How easy is Mysterium Park to learn and play?
Mysterium Park is very to pick up. It shares a lot of ideas and mechanics with its predecessor Mysterium, but the play space is smaller and it’s less intimidating for new players. The game takes up to 6 turns, divided in 3 rounds, which you set up as you go. The first round the ghost has to help the psychics to exclude suspects, the second – to help them identify the locations that the murder didn’t happen, and in the last third round to find help them point out who from a line-up of 3, who killed them. The ghost’s information comes from plot cards, similar to Codenames‘ spy master cards, and they come in a very big stack so there is a lot of replayability there.
Mysterium Park is quick to play. Time might vary depending on how long psychics discuss their turns, or how long the ghost takes to pick a card for each player. But in our experience a game takes about 30 minutes, and would not drag on over an hour. It’s a great game for lunch breaks and quick between-games, and it’s so simple to pick up that just about anyone should be able to grasp it in minutes with a little guidance. The rulebook sadly isn’t fantastically written, but the game doesn’t have a ton of depth, so once you get a handle on what you’re trying to do, the rulebook thankfully becomes completely irrelevant.
How much does Mysterium Park cost? Is it worth it the price?
Mysterium Park is currently listed for a tiny £13.75 on our affiliate partner retailer, Zatu Games, with an RRP of £23.99, and honestly even full-price that’s a steal for what you get. Not only is it quick, fun, and easy to play as we’ve mentioned, but it also comes in a very compact box that fits every piece of the game perfectly and doesn’t take up a ton of shelf space. It doesn’t have a lot of decks and miniatures in there, and that significantly lowers the price of a game, which is why it’s so cheap compared to some other board games. The quality of the pieces that are in the box is absolutely excellent, and the game itself is fantastic, making it great value for money.
When it comes to replayability it’s more complicated than most games. The large number of plot cards, and the brilliant abstract cards in the vision deck gives you a lot of options and variations on the game from a mechanical perspective. That being said, who you play with can dramatically limit the amount of replayability you get out of the box. Similarly to other games to Mysterium Park such as Dixit or the original Mysterium (which are also both totally fine games), people who play a lot together will start to form specific interpretations to the cards that make the guessing easier with every game.
That sad inevitability can at least be avoided by mixing up the groups of people you play with, or adding cards from other games (Dixit, Mysterium, and Stella, which all use compatible cards) to increase the versatility of the vision deck. If you keep playing with new people, or play irregularly, however, the game has an extreme amount of replayability and will stay fresh for a lot longer. But eventually if you play the game over and over with the same people, you’ll end up recognising cards, understanding what people are trying to say, and thinking very similarly to the point where the challenge of the game will begin to fade.
Mysterium Park is a standalone game, meaning you don’t have to buy or own Mysterium to play it. Mysterium and any of its expansions work very well with Mysterium Park because you can mix up the vision decks, the suspects and the locations for more interesting games, and they’ll all work together!
Mysterium Park vs. Mysterium
There’s a good chance that you’re wondering at this point why you’d buy Mysterium Park over Mysterium. If Mysterium Park is a stand alone game, why bother with Mysterium at all? If Mysterium Park is smaller than Mysterium, why go with the small version? Here’s a quick overview:
|Price||£25 ($30)||£40 ($56)|
|Setup time||5 minutes||15 minutes|
|Play time||30 minutes||75 minutes|
Mysterium Park might come in a smaller box and has less decks to work with, making it quicker to set up and cheaper to sleeve. You don’t loose on number of vision cards and get 2 more suspects and locations. However, Mysterium comes with few more extras that helps you immerse into the ominous atmosphere, such as backstory of the different physics, a beautiful clock to track your turns, nice ghost screen to plot behind, and an hourglass that applies a little bit of time pressure for quicker games.
We recommend you pick up Mysterium Park first, and once you fall in love with the gameplay, look at enhance your experience with Mysterium and its expansions, such as Mysterium: Secrets and Lies. If you want more vision cards you can pick up Dixit, Stella, and any of their expansions. The more vision cards you add, the more diverse every game will be. There are not many games that have this level of compatibility!
What games are similar to Mysterium Park? Who might enjoy it?
- As we’ve mentioned a few times, other image-association games like Mysterium, Dixit, Dixit Odyssey, and Stella are all similar games that we love that will also enhance your experience of each games, as the cards are interchangeable
- If you like the whole “Ghost helps the group solve the murder” vibe, then Paranormal Detectives is another fun spin on this genre (Editor note: I like Paranormal Detectives more than Mysterium Park, Ina is the hardcore Mysterium fan in this family! The funky different ways you can build the story are very fun… I should probably write that article.)
- Codenames and Codenames: Duet (which is the 2-player coop version!) Have a very similar concept of a single player guiding their team towards a specific solution, using words instead of pictures. Marvel fans (because let’s be honest, our site does attract them for fairly obvious reasons) may instead enjoy Codenames: Marvel!