CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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- Takes 60-90 minutes to play
- For 3-5 players
- A "whodunit" game
- Top quality components
- Another Days of Wonder classic
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From the Manufacturer
Top Customer Reviews
Set up and first play with a rules run-down is a very long experience. With 4 players, all seasoned board game aficionados, we had to keep revisiting the rules. The entire game play took 3 hours. Even if we were all familiar with this particular game, it is unlikely to be playable in less than 2 hours. The best strategy is to keep track of where you saw the cards, to whom you passed cards, and who passed cards to you.
Esthetically, the board is beautiful and the cards are well-appointed. Each player has a "ticket book" to hide his/her notes and deductions, which are nice. The ticket book also has a run-down of the mechanics of each train car for reference, which comes in very handy.
If you like light-hearted, easy games, or to socialize during games, Mystery Express is not recommended. It's best suited for people who enjoy logic puzzles, long games, and strategy. It requires a great attention to detail and multiple moving parts to achieve the correct solution.
Mystery Express is basically "Clue" on a train. On the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul, someone is murdered, and the players must spend the whole trip attempting to identify the suspect, the motive, the "modus operandi" (the "how"), and the location. These are figured out by visiting the different cars on the train and looking at other players' hands.
To keep it brief, if you like Clue, you'll LOVE Mystery Express. The one complaint I have is the length of time in between turns, but that may be because my family was playing it for the first time. I expect that as we get better at it, it will go quicker. Also,it says 3-5 players, and we had 5; I'm not sure how well it would work with 3 or 4.
DAYS OF WONDER IS THE BEST!! And Mystery Express will not fail to satisfy any family or group that loves challenging and unique board games.
As for actual gameplay, I can see how the game gets rave reviews from true mystery buffs. I didn't scoff at the 60-90 minute play time at first, but when our first game dragged past the three hour mark as the four of us consulted the rules for what seemed like the hundredth time, I was ready to throw in the towel at about 75% of the way through. It's got a LOT of modifiers and side rules, and your "turn" is extremely complicated with multiple steps. We each found ourselves sitting for 20+ minutes while the other three people around the table got through their turns, so the pacing was awful. To sum up the gameplay itself, I'm afraid that my first go-round felt way too much like sitting through an Advanced Algebra class for the first time after having been out for a week with the flu--I spent way too much time trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and worrying about how much I was getting wrong to learn the numerous complexities of the game, let alone get around to having any fun.
I'm giving this a 2.5 out of 5 for now. I'm not sure if I'll bother to play it again.
This game is essentially Clue+. At the beginning of the game a mode, motive, suspect, location, and time are all set aside as details of a murder. There are 2 copies of every detail (except time, there are 3 copies of each time) so you spend the game trying to figure out which 5 details have one card missing from the rest of the pool. This is done by taking different actions which have you looking at cards in other people's hands as well as a few that are sitting on the board. The kicker to all this is that there are six rounds and cards constantly change hands and are recollected from discard at the end of each round. There is even an action on the train that forces a player to recollect their discarded cards to confuse deduction further.
That's what really gives this game teeth. It's not just looking at information until you've narrowed something down. It's knowing how best to manage information that is in a constant state of flux. This is both much more difficult but also much more engaging than other deduction games and I really enjoyed it.
The mechanics for figuring out the time of the murder are a little hokey though and I wasn't a fan of those. At 3 different points in the game 3 different methods of revealing the time cards to all players are performed. This isn't well designed because unlike the rest of the game which is about pure deduction and efficient action management, one person can figure out the time just because they have a more photographic memory than others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this game. If you like Clue than you'll probably like this game although this is a lot different from that game in many ways. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Astronomy buff
When I received this I tore into it as fast as I could. I pulled out the instruction manual and started looking over all the beautiful pieces. Then I realized... Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Charles J. Haviland
I can not understand how anybody could give this a negative review. Mystery Express may be the best mystery game I have every played. Read morePublished on December 10, 2013 by M. Perry
my children are the ages of 17- 23 they had good time playing this with their friends
it is good to find such game for older children, clean and needs brain to think as well
If you are thinking about buying this keep in mind it's not for everyone very long and boring game with complex rulesPublished on February 8, 2013 by Pen Name
We are a group of four adults who consider ourselves board game fans, but not at the level of obsessive. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Rob Pendell
The board is one very small unimaginatively designed strip. You move from car to car at will and have three actions per turn, and there is a lot of repeat card showing to other... Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Tracey L Burrill
We purchased this game to take camping in case it rained and sure enough we had to break it out! My husband loves trains and mysteries so I thought this was a good mix. Read morePublished on November 12, 2012 by greengobob