Foamcore Insert: Mysterium

Mysterium is a very enjoyable cooperative game that combines Cluedo with…Pictionary? One player is the ghost and gives clues to the other players about each player’s unique combination of murderer, location, and weapon to solve the crime. The ghost player cannot speak though – they must give their clues by presenting the other players with “vision” cards. These cards are super trippy and oblique. It’s a fun game and always great to get to the table.

Setup, however, is an absolute pain in the ass, as the insert doesn’t seem to be designed with specific locations for the “board” (there’s not really a full board, just several short strips to divide up the person-place-weapon cards on the table), so there’s a lot of fiddling and splicing decks of cards together.

I set out to change this. Drawing inspiration from this box insert¬†available for purchase online, I wanted to use removable trays to keep everything in a state of readiness in the box. I diverged from that one by making a “ghost tray”, so almost all the ghost’s kit is kept together, meaning it can be handed over to that player with a minimum of fuss. The one part of the ghost’s stuff that I couldn’t include in the tray was the vision deck, which is enormous.

As this was my first insert, I ran into some problems. Chief amongst these was how to actually cut the foamcore nicely. I ended up with a lot of rough edges and off-kilter lines. The deck-sections in the main box aren’t as even as I’d like, similarly the player token trays have too many jagged edges for my liking. Proper technique came with time, as I learned not to try to cut through the board in one stroke but to cut through each layer on each pass over three or four strokes.

That said, it’s amazing functionally – no separation of decks, no sorting out of board pieces (they can all be dumped fairly unceremoniously in the designated section), and more time for ghostly shenanigans. I’m also pleased with how the trays fit into the box so nicely for a first attempt. I left a little bit too much space around the decks of cards in places though, which means that the cards can slide around a bit if the box gets shaken a lot while closed. I’d have been less generous with the height of the standoffs over the cards in the base of the box if I’d realised this would be an issue, but it’s a minor one.

Other games are definitely going to get the foamcore treatment! I didn’t do any recording of measurements, unfortunately, as I had to do a lot of cutting and re-cutting of the same pieces, but I’ll try to improve my record-keeping going forward.

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