Mystery of the Temples is a two to four-player game, published by Deep water Games and designed by Wei-Min Ling. A game take can take anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes. Mystery of the Temples is designed for players aged 1010 and Up and although the game could be played by younger players, the game does have some complexity and does require the ability to think in a linear, strategic way,
The setup for Mystery of the Temples is quite simple, shuffle the temple cards and randoms place 5 out face up in a pentagon shape / circle, then arrange the wildreness card in numerical order according to the number on the bottom of the card, then place two of then between each pair of temples starting with #1 and continue clockwise. Now place the colourful crystals in the centre, if you wish you can sort them out into colours this will save time later in the game but if not don't worry, shuffle the rune cards then place 4 at random face down on top of each temple, then place one single rune objective card next to each player. After this randomly hand out crystal grids.
The game has some fun twist to make the game come alive, one is the way players move is sublimely straightforward – all player pieces advance around the circle in clockwise fashion, moving 1, 2, or 3 spaces. However, no two pieces can occupy the same space, and players can move either around temple ring or the wilderness ring. This means that it is entirely possible for one player to anticipate another’s movements and put themselves in a blocking position giving an additional element of strategy and player interaction.
Another element which adds more to the game / a strategic element is the gathering and storing of the crystals themselves. When you gather crystals, they get added to your crystal grid which is used for storage. However, in order to spend crystals to score points, you will need to discard them in the specific order of colours as shown on the temple, and in order to do so, those crystals must form an unbroken chain in your grid such as:
Adding further to strategic depth of the game are how the runes affect. Runes are cards you will gather when you score different temples from breaking codes etc, and, in addition to forming a set-collection endgame scoring opportunities, runes multiply the effect of action spaces, letting you gather and manipulate gems more and more easily. When you start out, everyone is really just moving around getting whatever gems they can manage, hoping to score. But as the game goes on, the strategy deepens and the rune cards make bigger and bigger plays possible.
Mystery of the Temples is a fantastic game for the family, games group, pub and those that are new to games. The game has enough strategy to keep more seasoned game players interested and is easy to learn and teach for new players.
I would Highly recommend purchasing this game for is its low cost you get a lot of a game, with great game components and outstanding artwork.