23 November 2019
Misty is a clever little filler that won’t change your life but will brighten your evening.
Drawing pictures on a steamedup window isn’t the most obvious theme for a game,
nor perhaps the most commercial. thankfully for Misty it’s also a vapourthin layer over a solid little card game with minimal components (a box, 55 cards, rules in six languages) and some pretty neat gameplay.
It’s a combination card-drafter and engine-builder, which is a neat trick in a game that claims it’s good for six-year-olds. Each player is building a window of 4x3 or 3x4 panes, each with a steamy picture on it. You draft hands of six cards, placing each new card within the grid; and then you do it again with another six cards.
Here’s the science bit: there are five types of cards. Ordinaries do nothing. Cards with an arrow on them (trucks, scooters, rockets, leaves, balloons, unicycles) will move one space in the direction of that arrow. Happy faces are worth extra points in pairs, flowers are worth an extra point, and monsters eat flowers.
Once your window is finished you activate it, choosing one card at a time. All the arrow cards will have to move, any flowers will be eaten by any monsters – but if you can move a card over a monster first then it can’t move and the flower and its points are safe. So the activation phase is an exercise in damage limitation and it becomes a delightful brain-tickling puzzle, full of those exasperating moments when you realise you’ve got it all wrong but too late; and then you get to watch the other players activate their windows and get it all wrong too.
I was genuinely surprised by Misty. I didn’t expect much from it, and apart from the card-drafting the only interaction between players is watching and offering unhelpful advice. But it’s satisfying and surprisingly strategic, the points chase is close, and my youngest child who’s been known to kick tables over when losing was engrossed and delighted by it.
Misty is a clever little filler that won’t change your life but will brighten your evening. Ignore the recommended ages this is too good to be left to six-year-olds.
PLAY IT? YES
Designer: Florian Fay
Artist: Felix Kindelán