Press Your Luck in Mythe
Do your kids love pop-up books?
You know, the ones that have cool features that fold out as you turn the pages through a story book?
Well now you and your kids can play a fun press-your-luck board game that has a pop-up game board as the central feature.
I came across the game at Gen Con 2016 and thought it looked like a great family game.
Since then, we’ve played the game a number of times and are ready to share our thoughts of Mythe with you.
How to play Mythe
In Mythe, players race to be the mouse who saves the kingdom by rescuing the Sacred Cheese from the clutches of the even Red Dragon.
Players move along the path to the dragon’s lair by playing cards. The higher the combined value on the played cards, the farther the mouse with travel that turn.
That all sounds simple enough.
However, players don’t play cards from their own hands. They play unseen cards from the other players’ hands!
And if they play a card with a skull (an obstacle), they bust and don’t move at all that turn.
So players have to choose how far to press their luck every turn in order to get past the dragon to get the cheese.
Once players have opened the pop-up game board, they place the Red Dragon on the topmost space of the pop-up stairs. The Sacred Cheese is placed on the space just behind the dragon — as the winning player will have to get past the dragon to win.
Each player chooses a mouse hero color and places their playing piece in the starting village area.
If there are less than 5 players, some of the cards will not be included in the game and they are marked as such.
The starting player shuffles all the Adventure cards and deals them out one by one to each player.
Players can look at their cards but must keep them secret from the other players.
Mythe comes with a reference card for each player to help remember what to do on their turn. However, the game play is so simple, we don’t think you’ll need to refer to it at all.
There are two phases to a player’s turn: Draw Cards and Give Cards.
1. Draw Cards
To begin, a player simply draws one card from the hand of another player and plays it face up on the table.
If the card has a number on it, the player may choose to continue by drawing and playing another card in the same manner. They can do so as long as they wish (and as long as the cards continue to have numbers on them).
If the player chooses not to continue drawing cards, they can stop and advance their mouse piece. They add up the numbers on the cards played to get their Adventure Points.
Each space on the game board has 1, 2, or 3 dots on it that indicate the total number of Adventure Points required to move onto that space.
Also, each space can only be occupied by one mouse at a time. If there is a mouse already on a space in front of a player, it is counted as requiring 0 adventure points to move through it.
A player must make all possible moves forward and may not save points for future turns.
If a player draws and plays a card with a Skull on it, they’ve hit an obstacle and their turn is over. The Draw Cards phase immediately ends for that player and they don’t get to advance their mouse.
2. Give Cards
After either advancing or hitting an obstacle, the player must then give cards to the players.
The player takes all the cards played on their turn and adds them to their hand. They then decide how many and which cards from their hand to give out.
They do this by handing the cards face down to the other players. But they can also choose to keep cards for themself as well.
The only requirement is that at the end of this phase, all players must have at least one card in hand.
Play then proceeds to the next player on their left.
Once a player gets closer to the Red Dragon space, they need to be ready to face the dragon.
In addition to being able to move the appropriate number of spaces by drawing and playing cards on their turn, they must also have one of the Legendary Items in their hand.
The Legendary Items are a Sword, a Shield, and a Fairy.
At the start of a player’s turn they must declare they are going to attempt to face the dragon. They then show the other players the Legendary Item in their possession before drawing cards.
They then take a normal turn.
If, during that turn, they are able move onto the dragon’s space, then they defeat the Red Dragon and recover the Sacred Cheese and win the game!
If they can’t advance to the dragon’s space on that turn, play continues as normal to the Give Cards phase and then on to the next player.
Can the whole family enjoy Mythe?
Mythe is a very light press-your-luck board game.
The artwork and theme is definitely targeted towards kids. Plus, there’s the whole concept of a pop-up board — which also clearly proclaims “kid’s game”.
Yet parents can enjoy playing Mythe with their kids as well.
Since Mythe is a light game, it may appear on the surface to be all about luck. However, that’s not all there is to the game.
Because of the Give Cards phase, players can make some interesting choices throughout the game.
In many games, players like to have high cards in their hand. Yet in Mythe, it pays to give out the high value cards to other players. That way, on your turn, you’ll have a better chance of drawing good cards for advancing.
And a player that can gain control of many obstacle cards into their own hand will also be able to press their own luck further on their turn because the odds of drawing number cards will increase.
Knowing this, players should keep an eye on the distribution choices of other players as well.
It adds a layer of intrigue to the game that may not be picked up by the youngest players at first. But as they get more familiar with the game, their brains may just start clicking with some strategy in their choices.
Fun Feature, Not Durable
There’s no doubt the pop-up Mythe game board is a cool feature of the game.
However, it didn’t take long for us to realize that it’s also not very durable.
After just two plays, the Dragon and Cheese steps separated from the backing.
It’s easily fixed with some glue, but it was still a little disappointing.
The cards themselves are a nice quality card, but since it’s a press-your-luck game where cards being drawn and played are hidden information, you may want to sleeve the cards to keep them free of marks that may give their identity away.
How does Mythe score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?
Since it’s a light and quick game, it’s easy to play a couple games back-to-back. It’s also very small and portable because of the pop-up board and just a handful of cards.
But at the same time, our kids are now all teenagers and above, so we’re beyond the target point for this game. Even though we love the press-your-luck element of the game with the aspect of choosing how to give out cards to finish our turns, there isn’t enough depth to keep our teens interested for future plays.
If you’ve got kids under 10, Mythe will be a great way to introduce them to press-your-luck games.