Mysterium: Hidden Signs (Expansion Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designers:  Oleksandr Nevskiy & Oleg Sidorenko
  • Publisher:  Libellud (Distributed by Asmodee)
  • Illustrations: Xavier Collette and Igor Burlakov
  • Players:  2 – 7
  • Ages:  10 and Up
  • Time:  42 Minutes (Mysterium)
  • Times Played:  >3

MysteriumHS

Mysterium: Hidden Signs is the first expansion for Mysterium, one of my favorite games of 2015.  Hidden Signs features 78 new cards, adding variety to the game’s artwork and enhancing replayability.  

Because the expansion does not include new mechanics, my review below primarily includes pictures and my thoughts on how the artwork works with the base game. If you’re wanting a gameplay overview, check out my review of Mysterium from last August.

The Theme

As Libellud explains in the Hidden Signs rulebook, this expansion offers a return to Warwick Manor.  There may have been a mistake in the last seance, and the “manor once again resonates with a supernatural presence.”  The psychics have been invited back for a new investigation.

What’s in the Box

There are 42 new “vision cards,” which are intended to be shuffled in with the deck from the base game.  I couldn’t photograph them all, but here are a few of the new cards.  For one reason or another, many of the new vision cards prominently feature animals.  

NewDreamCards2

NewDreamCards

There are also 18 new psychic cards and 18 new ghost cards.  The backs of the psychic and ghost cards are numbered “HS1” to “HS18,” which allows for easy sorting.

Six of these psychic and ghost cards are for new objects:

NewObjects

Six are for new locations:

NewPlaces

And six are for new characters:

NewPeople

The first printing of Hidden Signs also comes with the three previously-released promo cards.  

Though most people will try to fit this in their Mysterium base game, Hidden Signs did come with a nice insert.

HiddenSignsInsert

The expansion does fit int he main box, although it is tight.  I had to reallocate some of the vision cards to the other spaces, but the ghost and psychic cards fit just fine.

My Thoughts on the Expansion

The artwork behind Hidden Signs is stunning, especially the new vision cards, which I like even better than those in the base game.  Xavier Collette and Igor Burlakov deserve kudos for these new illustrations.  In addition to being beautiful, the new artwork interacts nicely with that from the base game.  

The new objects and places are fun additions to the game.  Just as with Mysterium, the artwork is detailed and creepy.  I’m not as enamored with the new characters: I’ve found a couple of them to be too similar to some of the old characters.  But that might just be my group, and it does have the advantage of adding to the challenge.  

My biggest quibble with Hidden Signs is actually the cost.  $29.99 for a deck of 78 cards — albeit really beautiful cards — is a bit steep.  The prices at internet retailers are naturally lower, but nonetheless, for that price I would have hoped for some new gameplay elements.  That said, I’m still happy I bought this expansion.  

If you’re a fan of Mysterium, I’d recommend Hidden Signs.  It freshens up gameplay, allowing for new combinations that adding to replayability.  If you don’t like Mysterium, nothing here will change your mind.  But if you do like the game, this expansion is a solid buy.  Hidden Signs offers more of the beautiful illustrations that have drawn so many of us potential psychics into Warwick Manor.  

I, for one, am already looking forward to the next set of cards.

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