Mysterium, pirates and treasure!

rattle_NET (15)Spring 2013, Lviv in Ukraine. I am at board games convention (surprise!). I’ve just played prototype of Mysterium and I am totally blown away. OMG, what a game! I played twice in a row and I have no doubt – I just found a treasure here. Right after game ends I talk with designers and try to convince them to sign a contract with Portal Games. I love the game. I need to publish it. I am not leaving Ukraine without Mysterium. No way. I am not leaving. Do you hear me? I am not leaving without without contract!

'We also have a pirate game.’ Oleksandr says. 'Do you want to see it?’

'Are you kidding? Of course I want!’


There are different port cards, there are different prices of goods in each port, we gather goods, then we sell them in port, we can change ports, we can look for treasure map, we have these pirates cards for role selection mechanism… These are your cards, these are your dice that represent your ships…

They explain me the rules and we start playing. There is a caravan of merchants we need to attack. We are pirates. They are merchants. We attack them. Sounds legit. I can do that, I can sink merchants.

Oleksandr takes all my dice, do the same with his, with Oleg’s and with merchant’s dice, then shakes them all and with no word of warning or any explanation at all he tosses them all into box.

'We battle’ he says with his Russian accent.

OMG. OMG. OMG. He just took more than 20 dice, shaked them and threw into box! OMG. This is awesome.

What a cool idea. These guys are golden.


The idea of tossing dice into box is amazing. It’s fresh. It’s unique. It’s thematic. And what’s most important – it’s fun. Gathering these 20+ dice and throwing them into box… It’s pure fun. It’s like the essence of gaming, it’s like our wildest dreams come true. Take bunch of dice, throw them and see what happened. Brilliant.

I didn’t like the rest of the game as much though. We were struggling with that for couple of months, I was asking Oleg and Oleksandr for changes, but they were pulling project in a different direction. I wanted upgrades, they wanted role selection. I wanted special powers, they wanted port with prices and set collection of goods.

At some point it was clear – we have two different games in heads. Two games connected with this one brilliant idea of tossing dice into box.


This year there will be two pirate games that uses 3d Dice Battle System released. Different games that were born on one common fundament invented by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko. There is mine game called Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot and there is Pirates of 7th Seas. Both use tossing dice into box. And both take this base idea in a very different direction and game play.

Try them if you have a chance. It’s a pure and crazy fun packed into cardboard box.