Mythos Tales from 8th summit. This is a game that is hard to categorise. If you have played the classic Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, it is a little like that, if you haven’t played it, well you won’t know what I am on about.
It is like a roleplaying game but with limited options and no games master. The focal point of the game is a large book which has a number of mysteries in for the intrepid detectives to solve. Each mystery has a turn limit, so you need to have solved the mysterious goings on in X amount of turns.
The box artwork
You also get a small directory for the town, a map of the town, a few counters, storyline cards, which sound impressive, but just have a big number on each of them, a newspaper from the day in question and a rulebook.
The book contains 8 cases that you need to solve and at the end of each case the team of detectives will be asked a series of questions to find how well you did during the investigation. You get points for answering the questions correctly. You will be given a score and you will need a certain number of points to have won the case. There is Professor Armitage who you have to compete against, he may aid you from time to time too, but ideally you will beat his score which will be given at the end of the game.
What’s in the box?
The game is set in Arkham in the world of H. P. Lovecraft so strange things are afoot from the start.
The game plays from 1 to 8 people and it works with all of the numbers in that range. The decision process can take some time with more players as you discuss what to do next, but with more people we found that the chance of success is greater.
Each turn you decide to visit a location and then take notes on what you may or may not find. Clues may lead you to other locations or you may need to consult the newspaper or the directory to gain more clues.
I have heard a lot about Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective and a lot of people I have been playing this with have been saying that Mythos Tales is a Lovecraft version of SHCD. I will take everyone’s word for it. I am one of the few who have not played it.
I wasn’t sure what I would make of this when I was asked to review it, I am not a fan of Tales of the Arabian Nights and I thought that this would be similar. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. We failed badly on the 2nd mystery, but we failed so badly we are able to give it another go without much of the storyline being ruined. Leave it a few weeks and it will be like we never attempted it in the first place. When we got to the bottom of something we felt like we had achieved something and we found that bouncing ideas off each other helped a lot.
You are being watched…..
The timer is an excellent addition to the game as you could take a full day going to all the locations in Arkham before attempting to answer the questions. It adds some tension and in the 3rd case we were drastically running out of time before we found a clue right at the end that put it all together.
The game does have one flaw though, replayability. Once you have done a case, you won’t get the same effect again 2nd time around as you know what happened and the answers, unless you did so badly, you can give it another go as you got nowhere near the solution, like we did on the 2nd one.
ready for action
I have been purposefully vague with this review as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, as spoilers can and will ruin this game for you. It is a mystery that needs to be solved, well 8 of them actually.
When I review games, I try to play them with several different gaming groups. This was no exception. Some of the games have had such a good reaction with some of the groups, they went out and got a copy of the game. This was no exception. I have just come back from a 5 day event and there was 3 copies of Mythos Tales among the games library. It was the only game present where there was more than one copy (that I saw anyway).
You can grab a copy from the link below.
The main game book
Edit: It has been brought to my attention that there are a couple of printing errors in the game. While everyone I played it with didn’t notice them, they are there, lurking. There is a file you can download/print with an errata via the link below on the Boardgamegeek website.
Mythos tales - A Lovecraft detective game
A roleplaying/storytelling game that will appeal to boardgamers who like deduction games. I wasn’t sure I would like this, but I did, a lot.