Gen Con 2018: Shadows: Amsterdam


What would happen if you combined Codenames and Mysterium? This:

Just add anthromorphized animals and some risky board movement and you’re there.

Here’s the premise: You’re a team of detectives trying to solve a crime that the police aren’t exactly moving their butts on it, but the police don’t want you interfering. Maybe they’re in on it, I don’t know.

Anyway, two teams are racing to collect 3 pieces of evidence and get back to the client before the police catch up to them.

In practice, the city is a hex grid, with each tile featuring an illustration of a location. Each team has a clue-giver, and can give 1 or 2 clues to their team in the form of mysterium-style artworks. The teams must interpret the clues given, knowing only that the number of clues given is the number of spaces they must move their team’s pawn.

X’s bad, blue good, green is the finish line. ! are spaces that grant a clue to either team that lands on the space, if i recall correctly

The clue-givers have codenames-style secret boards that mark which tiles are safe, which are evidence, which are cops, and which are exits. They must use the clues available to lead their team from space to space, landing on 3 different evidence spots (which are then marked with tokens) and to an exit before landing on 3 cop spaces.

It’s certainly an interesting challenge, and I like the combined artsy clues with spatial movement. It plays incredibly quickly, and captures the stress of Mysterium without the time commitment. Best with a larger group that can split into two teams, you can race against a timer if you only have 2-3 players.

I wish I’d gotten to demo the game against another team; as it was, we just had the two of us, but it was fun practicing and seeing if I could communicate with my friend. It’s definitely a light, fast-paced game, so if your group isn’t into word guessing or doesn’t want to invest the time into Mysterium, this might be worth a go.

Futurewolfie loves epic games, space, and epic games set in space. You'll find him rolling fistfuls of dice, reveling in thematic goodness, and giving Farmerlenny a hard time for liking boring stuff.

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