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Mysterium and Potion Explosion Digital reviews

Mysterium board game

Mysterium has gone digital!

Earlier this week we shared our review of the fun cooperative deduction board game, Mysterium. And back in December we shared our review of the fun family board game, Potion Explosion.

Today we’re happy to share our reviews of the recently released digital implementation of both games!

And if you’re quick to jump on it, Mysterium digital and Potion Explosion digital are both on sale for the next 4 days!


Mysterium digital

Since our recent review of the Mysterium board game covers how to play, we won’t dive into that here.

Let’s just say that the digital version plays out just the same as the board game. One player is the ghost giving visionary clues. And the rest of the players are the psychics trying to interpret those clues to guess a character, location, and object.

Mysterium digital board game

It can be tough playing as the ghost and giving visions to the psychics.

The artwork of the “cards” is exactly the same as the actual board game. And since we’re fans of the evocative cards, it goes without saying that we love the visuals in the digital version too.

Outside of the cards, we also like the whole visual presentation of the digital version. The interface is very easy to work with as either the ghost or the psychics.

There are a couple different modes of play in Mysterium Digital. We highly recommend starting with Story mode because the first few scenarios are like tutorials to help you get familiar with the interface and flow of play.

Mysterium digital board game

The Progress bar shows how all the psychics are doing each round.

The first Story scenario has you play as a psychic and teaches how to make guesses. The next scenario still has you as a psychic but introduces the clairvoyance tokens and voting on other psychics’ guesses. The following scenario introduces you to the role of ghost and helps you work through giving out vision cards to the psychics. It’s all very well done and there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the intro games even with the coaching.

There are also plenty of other scenarios in Story mode to play once you’ve gone through the first few tutorial scenarios.

Mysterium digital board game

Story mode provides both a great introduction and challenging scenarios.

The other game mode is simply labeled “Play” on the main screen and it includes the options of Quick Play, Online, Blitz, and Solo.

  • Quick Play lets you jump into any multiplayer game as quickly as possible.
  • Online lets you play a custom game with other online players.
  • Blitz mode lets you play as a psychic with shorter but challenging games.
  • Solo is like playing Story mode but with the configurations you choose.

We’ve heard some bad things about player behavior during online play, but we haven’t experienced any bad behavior. Of course, bad player behavior is a possibility in any online game when you don’t personally know the other players.

Mysterium digital board game

The ghost can even refer to his Ghost Screen like in the physical version.

One of the cool things about multiplayer games is the ability to use telepathy.

Since the game is cooperative, it’s in your best interest to help other players along. So the game includes an active Chat window so psychics can “talk” to each other along the way. But the telepathy is different. It actually lets you point to certain aspects on cards to show other players what you think are key elements of the vision and other cards that the ghost is trying to convey.

It’s a handy tool and brings the game close to the original board game where players can always point to different parts of the cards in front of them.

Asmodee Digital did a fantastic job bringing Mysterium to life on digital platforms.

Although we still prefer the physical version to play as a family and with friends, but having the digital version also lets me play whenever I’m in the mood and just can’t rustle up other local players.

Mysterium digital board game

Time to make a final guess.


Potion Explosion digital

Potion Explosion digital board game

We enjoy mixing potions with Potion Explosion digital.

Like Mysterium, Asmodee Digital did a fantastic job bringing Potion Explosion to life in digital form. While it’s hard to compete with the tactile experience of the original with the awesome marble dispenser, the digital game is still fun to play.

The best part about playing it in is digital form is that you can play it in places where the physical board game just doesn’t make sense — like on an airplane (where I last played Potion Explosion digital).

If you’d first like to see how to play Potion Explosion, check out our full review of the board game.

Potion Explosion digital can be played either Offline or Online.

When playing Offline, you can choose to play against AI opponents of varying difficulty levels or against other human opponents. We enjoy the pass-n-play nature of playing against other human opponents. But we also enjoy the challenge of going up against tough AI opponents as well.

Potion Explosion digital board game

The tutorial does a great job at introducing the game play and interface.

So far we haven’t taken a spin at the Online version since each time we’ve gone in, we haven’t come across other players online at the same time.

I guess I need to get some friends living in other parts of the world to get online at the same time to make a go of it.

We really like the fun art style of the Potion Explosion app. And the interface is very easy to understand. Tap on the orbs and they fly to your beakers and subsequent explosions take care of themselves. It’s also easy to simply drag them to the potions you’re working on.

The tutorial in the game is also very well done and makes diving into the game very simple.

Before you know it, you’ll be a potions master.

Potion Explosion board game app

A few more screenshots to check it out.


You can get both Mysterium and Potion Explosion digital version on sale this weekend:


Mysterium is an awesome cooperative mystery

Mysterium board game

Can you solve the mystery together?

Another death has occurred and it’s up to your team of psychics to unravel the mystery.

How familiar does that sound?

Perhaps it’s because plenty of deduction board games have that same premise – to solve a murder mystery. The most popular is Clue.

Yet Mysterium takes the familiar premise and shakes it up to make a fresh and fun new family board game.

Many people have compared Mysterium to a mash up of Clue and Dixit: Clue because of the mystery of trying to discover a person, place, and thing and Dixit because of the bizarre and evocative imagery on the cards.

But even that comparison can’t quite capture the essence of the game.

Because one of the differing aspects of Mysterium is that it’s a cooperative deduction game – everyone either wins or loses together.

Everyone we’ve played Mysterium with has loved it. And we’re more than happy to tell you why.

Mysterium board game

A box of goodness awaits.

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Win 8 New Board Games!

Villages of Valeria

Win this and 7 more new board games!

Yes, you read the title right — you can win 8 new board games!

We know you’re interested in fun board games or you wouldn’t be on our site.

And we’d guess that you’re probably also interested in winning some upcoming games.

Well, now you’ve got the chance to do just that in the Ultimate Indie Board Game Giveaway.

This joint effort by a number of indie publishers will grant one lucky person 8 of the newest board games of 2017.

It’s super simple to enter. Just complete at least one of the items listed below.

Of course, the more you do, the more entries you’ll get to improve your odds of winning.

If you’d like more info on each of the games in the giveaway, you’re in luck because clicking on the links for more info will give you entries in the contest as well!

One that I’m interested in is Villages of Valeria. I had a great time playing Valeria: Card Kingdoms and Quest of Valeria a couple weeks ago at SaltCon and would love to try more games in Valeria.

Good luck!

The Ultimate Indie Board Game Giveaway


First Orchard brings back the fun in picking fruit

First Orchard children's board game

First Orchard can be your child’s first board game.

Some of my fondest memories as a child involve walking with my Mammaw (that’s Texan for Grandma) around her house picking blackberries.

We’d each fill our baskets with blackberries to take home and make blackberry pie. Of course, we’d snack on them along the way too.

Picking fruit from its natural source can be hard work; but when done with family and friends it can be a very enjoyable experience.

In HABA’s First Orchard, part of the My Very First Games series, you get to tap into the fun aspect of picking fruit as a family.

It’s a promising theme, but does this children’s game deliver the fun?

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Another great SaltCon gaming weekend!

SaltCon 2017

SaltCon is a great time to play tons of games with buddies.

Last weekend I spent many, many fun hours playing board games at our local board game convention — SaltCon.

And once again, SaltCon reached record attendance — hitting 1,359!

Not too shabby for just being the 9th year.

This year SaltCon was extended one day so those wish to play a lot of games would have even more time to play. However, I went the opposite direction and was there for less time than usual the last few years.

This year I was only able to go Friday and Saturday. And I had to cut my time short on Saturday as well.

But that didn’t stop me from playing 22 different games!

Not bad for just a day and a half.

SaltCon 2017

Multiple convention center rooms for plenty of open gaming at SaltCon.

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Hive Mind rewards thinking alike

Hive Mind board game

Hive Mind may look like just a children’s game, but it’s fun for everyone.

To be honest, when I first saw Hive Mind in the Calliope Games booth at Gen Con 2016 I didn’t think too much of it. From the outside, it looked like a children’s game that the everyone in our family would have outgrown.

However, after getting a copy from Calliope Games and giving it a shot, I’ve completely changed my tune!

Playing Hive Mind has been a lot of fun!

In fact, we enjoyed our first play so much that the following week I took it to our New Year’s Eve party with friends.

We were there with just adults playing and Hive Mind was a hit with everyone!

Like me, they were skeptical when I first pulled it out. But once we got playing, everyone had a blast.
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Acting silly in Action Princesses is encouraged!

Action Princesses children's game

Are your princesses ready for some action?

Kids love to play pretend.

One of the many scenarios I commonly find my daughter pretending is being a princess.

She loves to dress up and have us play together.

In Action Princesses by Haywire Group, she can take control of a princess and together we can save her castle from a “mean ‘ol dragon” all while dancing, laughing and acting silly.

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Match Madness is pattern-matching fun

Match Madness board game

Fun pattern matching race game from FoxMind.

How quick are you at pattern recognition and puzzle solving?

You’ll get to find out in Match Madness by FoxMind.

In Match Madness players race to solve patterns using their set of colorful, chunky blocks.

Because there are varying difficulty levels of the patterns, it’s a fun game the whole family can enjoy playing together.

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