Here at Overboard, we like two things: lying to each other’s faces and deciphering mysterious clues. That’s why the moment we heard of Obscurio, a mixture of Mysterium’s image based clues and classic hidden traitor mechanics, we knew we had to play it. And more importantly, that we had to play it while in costume.
Obscurio takes place in a magical library, where a group of intrepid wizards have found themselves trapped. Their only hope of escaping through the library’s magical doors is a mysterious grimoire that’s only capable of giving them vague clues. These surreal images will be the group’s only hope, since the grimoire player can’t speak or communicate any other information to the players.
Each round, the wizards must select the correct door card out of six possible choices, and they’ll have to do it six time to win the game. This is made extra difficult because the wizards have a traitor in their midst. The traitor-player keeps their role a secret while sowing doubt and confusion among the other wizards. After seeing the grimoire’s clues, the traitor gets to secretly select two door cards, hoping these decoys might ensnare some of the other wizards.(The other three door cards are selected randomly.) Making sure the other wizards choose wrong is the ultimate goal: if it happens enough times during the game, the wizards lose and the traitor wins.
Complicating things further are the library’s traps, which are designed to confuse and confound the wizards. For example, one trap covers the grimoire’s clues in veil of red, washing out all other colors. Another allows the traitor to select four decoy door cards, ensuring that the wizards will have an even harder time finding the correct door.
Obscurio manages to take the best parts of Mysterium and Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and unite them in one satisfying package. Compared to Mysterium, Obscurio keeps all players working on the same clues for the same objective each round, which is less confusing and keeps game moving. Creating each round’s clues is a less arduous task for the silent player, while also offering them a lot of freedom in how they create those clues. The hidden role mechanic is also executed extremely well. Many hidden role games can leave the player feeling isolated, especially after their identity has been revealed. In Obscurio, the traitor still has a powerful influence on the rest of the players even after they’ve been found out. In fact, that’s actually part of the plan, as the player is either outed before the game ends... or they win the game!
Give our video a watch if you’d like to know more about this fantastic game. If you enjoy this episode, make sure you subscribe to Polygon’s channel for more great videos. You can also watch previous episodes of Overboard here.
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