In my youth, I had a fascination with unsolved curiosities—UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot. My parents owned a set of Mysteries of the Unknown by Time Life and on multiple occasions I checked out episodes of Secrets & Mysteries from the library. Despite my grown-up level-headedness, I never really outgrew this: a good conspiracy theory or unsolved mystery still piques my interest.
This was one reason why I was excited to try out the Mysterious Creatures board game. The game is relatively simple. By random drawing from a pile of cards, each player is given a creature to investigate. Mokele-Mbembe of South Africa, the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, the Ahool of the Philippines, the Loch-Ness Monster of Scotland—these are some of the 15 creatures featured in the game.
Starting in the country of the creature’s origin, players roll a die to move around the board visiting tourists from other countries who have collected evidence of the creature. Each player collects a photo, a film clip, and physical evidence of his or her creature. The first to collect all their evidence and make it back to one’s own country wins the game.
What I Liked
One of the coolest aspects of the game is the collection of online videos. For some creatures, video footage can be found on the Mysterious Creatures website. When you collect a “Film” evidence card, you might be told to go online and see the footage. When my boys and I played the game, this was their favorite part.
I enjoyed learning about each creature. While not all the evidence cards are very convincing, the game gives you enough information to spark your interest in the creatures.
My boys insisted I needed to find more evidence for Bigfoot when we were done with the game. I told them I was a little too busy and that Michigan isn’t known as a hotbed for Bigfoot activity, but this did not deter their enthusiasm. Bradley is currently considering a career in Bigfoot hunting.
I found some of the spaces on the board confusing. At times I wasn’t sure exactly how I supposed to move around, despite the instructions. This wasn’t a big deal, but it is something to be aware of if you buy the game.
Overall I found the game fun to play with my kids. It will get your kids interested in some of the oddities of our world.