Game: The Mind
Published: Pandasaraus Games
Designer: Wolfgang Warsch
Playtime: 15 Minutes
Play Type: Cooperative
You and others are sitting and working towards becoming one to defeat the various levels in the mind.
The Mind is incredibly simple in concept. Players have a number of lives equal to the numbers of players. Additionally players start with one ninja star, which is a one time use card that allows players to discard their lowest value card. The players will set up various level cards based on how many players. Then deal cards equal to the level number to each player.
Once players have their cards, they must try and play their cards in ascending numerical order. The catch is that players cannot talk, or sign to each other during the game in any fashion. If all cards are played correctly, then players continue on to the next level. If players place cards incorrectly, players lose a life and continue with the current level putting aside any cards with a lesser value than the card the made gameplay stop.
If players run out of lives, they lose. If players beat the neccesary number of levels they win.
The Mind is a smal box game that includes life cards, ninja star cards, and cards numbered 1-100. Each card type is clear and easy to read, and includes only the neccessary information on each. The cards are sturdy and hold up to shuffling well.
- Easy to Explain
- Travels Easily
- Provides Good Tension
- Time as a Resource
- Short Playing Time
- Can Be Frustrating
- Difficulty Dependant on Number of Players
The Mind has been one of the most pleasantly surprising games I have experienced in 2018. Many players seemed to have taken different stances on the game because it is highly dependant on the players playing the game. However, the game does something unique that I have not seen in the past which is intriguing to me as a player. I always love games that introduce new resources and mechanics, and I really liked how The Mind introduced time itself as a resource. It also is a great demonstration of how players percieve time differently. That difference creates tension and engagement that may not be inherently apparent when just reading over the rules.
Beyond that interesting tension, the game is a perfect filler game for traveling. The box is small, and has a small table footprint. Players could easily play it while out and about. It also plays in 15-20 minutes, which is great for a quick time killer. It can also be explained in only a minute or two, so it is not a hassle to bring new players in.
However, due to the nature of not discussing or communicating, the game can become frustrating for players who are highly competitive and want to win easily. The game is extremely challenging, and when players are not connecting, losing is easy. This can be a positive for some players, but can take away from the enjoyment for others. The game also becomes more challenging the more players who play. It is much harder to connect and understand three other people rather than just one other.
That being said, I would suggest The Mind for players who are seeking a challenging cooperative game that has no risk of an alpha gamer. I would also suggest players who enjoy party games that are easy to learn. While challenging, the game still has a party feel to it, which makes it easy to bring out at social gatherings.