Review – Mists over Carcassonne
Cooperative Carcassonne? Cool!
|Marcel Gröber, Anne Pätzke
|Hans im Glück
It seems like every game is getting a cooperative version these days, and so why not the classic Carcassonne? But is it another wanna-be cooperative game that fills players with “ennui,” or is it a bonafide “agréable” time? (yes, I’m cultured; I know how to Google Translate French words).
If you’re new to Carcassonne, check out our review of the original here.
In Mists Over Carcassonne, players will cooperate to score the required number of points before Carcassonne is overrun by the ghostly mist! Players can lose when there are no more ghosts to place or when they run out of tiles or time.
Each player will choose a meeple color, and play will proceed like Carcassonne: draw a tile, place the tile, play a meeple (optional), score the tile (optional). The first wrinkle Mists over Carcassonne introduces is the option to remove up to 3 ghosts from a tile instead of scoring points. This is essential because, depending on the ghostly mist on the tile, up to 3 ghosts could be placed on it, and there are only 15 ghosts max to go around. Often it’s best to remove ghosts instead of scoring a measly 4-point castle or a 2-point road.
Another wrinkle is the ghostly mist, which acts as another element that players can cluster, similar to castles. Players will want to cluster and trap these ghosts in because all ghosts are removed from the mist once it’s fully trapped. The last few wrinkles are fairly straightforward: Cathedrals score for each ghost tile adjacent when they’re completely surrounded, cemeteries must receive an extra ghost until they’re surrounded, and dogs allow players to remove ghosts and score points for how many ghosts are on the map.
While there’s not a campaign per se, there are 6 levels of difficulty for players to choose from. These levels are helpful because they teach players the game while also adding replayability. New to Carcassonne or trying to teach newer/younger players? Playing the first few levels will be helpful in learning how everything works. If you’re already a Carcassonne Crusher, you could easily jump to the upper levels.
Mists over Carcassonne might be the best way to learn Carcassonne because of its simpler levels and cooperative elements. It’s also a great time puzzling your way through tiles with other players. I prefer it at 2-3 players, but it plays well at any player count.
In a sense, Mists over Carcassonne is infinitely replayable because you never know what tiles you’re going to get, but once you figure out the general strategy for each level, winning becomes fairly straightforward. There’s 6 levels, and it’ll likely take a couple plays to find and then execute that winning strategy, so there’s still a lot of play value. It’s going to be different at different player counts as well, so that’s another variable that enhances replayability.
Mists over Carcassonne provides players with a great introduction to the world of Carcassonne and a fun, cooperative experience to boot. While Mists over Carcassonne isn’t as good as Paint the Roses, it’s a good time for tabletop gamers wishing to complete a cooperative puzzle.
Hans im Gluck (Asmodee North America) kindly provided a review copy.
The Bottom Line
A great introduction to Carcassonne and a fun, cooperative puzzle to solve.