OBJECTIVE OF MYSTERY EXPRESS: The objective of Mystery Express is to be the player with all five elements of the crime determined when the game comes to an end.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 5 Players
MATERIALS: 1 Board Map, 1 Mini Whistle, 1 Mini Travel Bag, 2 Small Passenger Tokens, 6 Small Conductor Tokens, 1 Gray Conductor Figure, 1 Mystery Express Train, 1 Telegram Notepad, 100 Deduction Sheets, 5 Ticket Wallets, 5 Character Tokens, 5 Player Character Figures, 72 Crime Cards, and Instructions
TYPE OF GAME: Action Points Board Game
AUDIENCE: Ages 12 and Up
OVERVIEW OF MYSTERY EXPRESS
As the players board the Mystery Express, a murder occurs. The remainder of the trip is spent determining the why, who, what, when, and where this all occurred. With an analytical taste, this game is perfect for those players who overthink. Players will use their powers of deduction, information gathered from other people aboard, and the investigative actions to determine exactly what occurred aboard the Mystery Express.
To begin setup, place the map in the middle of the playing area. Each player will then choose a character to represent them throughout the course of the game. They will collect the figure, character token, and ticket wallet that matches their chosen character. Each player is then given a deduction sheet that they are to keep within their ticket wallet throughout the game.
The players can choose where their character will be placed. The players will receive a blank Telegram, which will be used in a later portion of the game. The Crime cards should be shuffled separately to form five decks. The players will gather one card from each deck, placing the five cards below the map.
The time cards are placed beside the map, face down. The rest of the decks can be shuffled together, forming one larger deck. Seven cards are dealt to each player, one at a time. Once they have all seven cards, the players are able to examine their hand. The rest of the deck is placed on their designated spots on the board. The number of cards will vary depending on the number of players.
The Mystery Express will begin her trek in Paris, so the train can be placed there to begin. On each of the stations, place one conductor card randomly. The first token can be placed into the train car indicated by the card. Two passenger tokens are placed in Strasbourg and Wien. The last player to board a train will begin the game and collect the miniature whistle. The game will continue clockwise around the board.
Each part of the journey found on the map will represent one turn during the game. During each turn, the players will have an opportunity to take actions and continue their investigation. Each stop will allow the players to complete certain actions, depending on how much time is available at each stop.
During their turn, a player may move to another train car, complete their action, and chat with the conductor if their action took place in the conductor’s car. When all of the players have completed their actions, the Mystery Express will continue to its next destination. There are time card symbols that are found beside each section, determining how much time is available at each stop. The conductors must be placed at each stop, as there is a token found at each one.
In Strasbourg, Wien, and Budapest, the players may determine the Hour of the Crime. Time cards are briefly revealed to the players, and they must determine when the crime occurred. This must be done first, before any other events that take place within the city. At each stop, there are a variety of actions that may be completed, and there are some that are required. During each of these activities, the players are able to use their power of deduction to determine more facts about the crime.
END OF GAME
The game comes to an end when the Mystery Express arrives at Istanbul, concluding the journey. The players must then document their investigation, wrapping everything up, in their deduction sheet. The 5 Crime cards that are hidden are then revealed to the players! After all of the cards are revealed, the players will tally who had the most Crime elements correct. This player is declared the winner!