Monthly Archives: September 2018

Week 4- Mysterium

For this past week in class, the next game we played was actually a choice between two: Mysterium or Corrupted Kingdom(s). Personally, I gravitated towards Mysterium, because it seemed more conceptual and intriguing, plus I’m a sucker for gothic themes. Mysterium actually has many similarities to the classic game Clue, since the goal is to find a murderer, what room the murder was committed in, and the murder weapon. However, in order to find this information, players would need to interpret “dreams” presented by a player separate from everyone else. This detached player, or the “ghost” would hand players cards with stunning artwork on them, so that they could possibly translate the imagery into clues associated with the info needed.

As the game continues, players could also try to predict whether certain guesses were right or wrong, increasing their abilities and gaining advantages in the endgame. Players guessed after the “ghost” gave info, first guessing the person, then the area, then the weapon. With seven rounds to find information, and other players except the ghost being able to help translate images from other players’ dreams, this game was extremely cooperative. It really represented leadership on the ghost’s part, since he or she had to give images that they felt would help the most, and trying to know the players well enough to predict how they would interpret the “dreams” was probably no easy task, definitely the hardest part of the game in my opinion.

Even though I did not have the opportunity to play as the ghost during the time provided, I still enjoyed being among the regular players. There was a certain thrill I got from being able to correctly interpret the messages the ghost player was giving me, especially when the imagery was extremely subtle. For instance, one of our players got a card that had a chessboard and several mice on it. One of the suspected murderers was a chef, so we as a group determined that the ghost was making a Ratatouille reference, and the player who received that clue guessed that suspect correctly. Those kind of successes really helped make the game enjoyable.

I bet that my cousin Max would like this game, because he is a very conceptual thinker, and having to translate images like in Mysterium would be something that he might enjoy. He would most likely play the ghost though, honestly, since he likes being in positions where he has some degree of control over the game anyway.

Week 4 – Mysterium Reflection

Last week we played what is now one of my new favorite games, Mysterium. Mysterium is essentially like clue with weird Freudian dream analysis. One person plays the ghost of a murdered person who leaves vague dreams to this team of investigators trying to solve the crime. Each person has to identify their own suspect and then if all suspects are identified, at the end of the game the team works together to find the true culprit. The hardest part about this game is trying to interpret the dreams delivered by the ghost. One person’s way of thinking about the dreams could be completely different from someone else’s. This game ties into leadership through the ghost trying to lead the team to the correct answer but isn’t able to use words. Leadership in the team itself also emerges as people argue and try to defend their interpretations to lead the team to the correct conclusion. My entire family would love this game because we are avid clue players and this game is a cool twist on a classic family game. We like the challenge of solving mysteries but each of us like to win. WIth this game, it is possible for everyone to win which satisfies us and doesn’t leave anyone as a sore loser. Unless of course, everyone loses.

Week 3- Betrayal at House on the Hill

This previous week in class we played a game that again, I had some familiarity with: Betrayal at House on the Hill. One of my favorite games from recent years, this game revolves around choosing a character at the start with certain stats, then exploring a spooky house with others, activating events, omens, and sometimes collecting useful items for later. This continues with some events causing people to take damage, or gain buffs in their existing stats. However, omens are where the real fun is, in my opinion. Every time an omen is activated, a “haunt” dice roll (of 6 dice) in thrown, and if the number rolled is less than the amount of omens, a haunt begins.

The haunts were so unique and varied in this game, with the scenario in which it was activated determining which haunt was present in the game. Most involve on of the people in the party becoming a traitor/monster and the goal is kill or be killed. At least, that is how it went with my group, where one of our members became the Tentacled Horror. I feel the hardest part was planning a strategy for defeating the monster, since all of us weren’t near each other in the house and improvisation seemed very likely.

I feel like this game promotes leadership with the traitor, since that one person is suddenly all alone, and forced to make decisions without much help. This kind of self-leadership is contrasted with the cooperation needed out of the other players to fight the evil together, where sometimes a leader helps guide the other players or everyone kind of takes a role. I think my friend from high school would love this game, he enjoys games that are unpredictable, and the random monster scenarios would be a big selling point for him.

Week 2- Hanabi

This week for class, we played the cooperative card game Hanabi. One of the most captivating parts about this game was how none of the people playing knew which cards were in their hand. In a solitaire like fashion, the goal was to play cards of a certain suit (in this case color) in order, from the lowest to highest number listed on the card. During the game, players could spend one of 8 hints to tell another player what kind of card they have. Unfortunately, this only extended to phrases like, “You have 3 blue cards.”, or “These two cards are 1’s.”. There was no “table talk” beyond this allowed. If a card that didn’t follow the proper order was played 4 times, everybody lost the game. People thankfully could choose to discard a card to regain a hint, but if it was a card that needed to be played, that trade may not be so wise.

I personally really enjoyed this game, but maybe not for the reasons other people did. I really made my fellow players frustrated because I gave them very little indication of what I was going to do, causing a hilarious amount of stress. Since it was a lot of peoples’ first time playing the game, they wanted to use a lot of table-talk, so I did the opposite. This dynamic caused some shouting, but more importantly, laughing.

I think the hardest part of this game was trying to inform people what kind of card they had, and make sure they remember that info. As far as leadership goes, I think this teaches being able to give proper advice to the people you lead, while also having trust in them to retain what you tell them. I think the person I know who would enjoy this game the most would be my parents, they would have definitely showed it to my family as kids had they known it existed.

Week 1- The Resistance Avalon

Much to my delight, the first class of the semester started off strong with playing The Resistance Avalon, a game which I had played once or twice before, but enjoyed greatly. The first game that my group had started with the most basic setting – most players were designated as standard servants of King Arthur (i.e the “good guys”), while the rest became villains of Mordred (the “bad guys”). For the second game, the good and bad guys were assigned more distinct roles that made them stand out a bit more during the game. I absolutely love games that have this level of cunning in them, the “trust no one” aspect is very appealing to me. Unsurprisingly enough, the hardest part was to get people to trust me at all during both games!

In regards to leadership, I think this game does a good job in letting leaders drive the conversation on who is evil or not, even if the others don’t believe what he or she is saying. Also, there is usually one or two people who call for votes to keep the game going, which is another small example of leadership being present in the game.

My brothers back home would adore this game, because not only does it give individuals a more important sense in the game itself (when more specific roles are added), but also gives way to more discussion and trickery, which I know they would love.

Week 1 – Avalon Reflection

For our very first class this semester we played Avalon! This secret identity game was played both in a vanilla version where there were simply the good guys (AKA Merlin’s and King Arthur’s homies) vs the bad guys (aka the minions of Mordred), as well as a more complex version with roles within the teams. The hardest part for me about this game was having to lie to the other players. I am absolutely awful at lying so that makes me really quite bad at these sorts of games. However I still had a fun time playing, especially the version with roles.

This game ties to leadership because depending on your role, you may have to lead your team in a certain direction even if you don’t know exactly who is on your team. Leadership is also seen through the movement of the game. Someone has to step up to call when the votes will take place and when the next person should start their turn.

My brother Bob would absolutely love this game because he likes messing with people’s heads. He likes having opportunities to confuse people’s thought processes and insert doubt into decisions. This is crucial for Avalon because the game revolves around being able to convince the rest of the players that you are good even if you are not.