What do the numbers 1-100, rabbits, and ninja stars have in common?
The Mind is one part game, one part experiment, and one part experience. The goal? Play cards from your hand in numerical order. The catch? Player’s can’t communicate. At all.
The Mind starts by placing the Level Cards in a stack. There are 12 levels total in the game and players can determine the number they’re going to play in advance. A number of Life Cards are placed on the table equal to the number of players in the game. The players also gets 1 Shurikan, a shared card only to be used when everyone agrees to use it. The Number Cards are shuffled and play can begin.
Each level players are given cards equal to the level number. These cards must remain secret from the other players. The players must then play their cards to the table in numerical order without communicating with one another. No rapping on the table. No hand gestures.
If all the players manage to empty their hand and the cards in the middle of the table are in numerical order, great! Move on to the next level using more cards. If someone plays a card out of sequence all players discard whatever cards they have in their hand that are lower than the card just played and the collective team loses a life. Lose all your lives and the game is over.
There are a few extra rules in there to make things a little easier. Shuriken can be used to have each player place their lowest value card face up on the table. To use a Shurikan all the players must raise their hand to show agreement that one should be used. More Shurikans, and sometimes more lives can be earned by completing certain levels. There’s also a rule that if a player places their (physical) hand down on the table everyone must stop playing cards. This is a good way for players to catch their breath or slow others down if they feel they’re rushing.
That’s The Mind. Play as far as you can without losing all your lives.
- Box 👍
- Rules 👍
- Cards 👍
(👍 = Good, 👎 = Bad, ⭐ = Exceptional)
This game is great. It’s simple to learn, quick to play and plays differently every time whether you’re playing with the game group of people over and over again or with different people each time. It’s less about the actual playing the cards and more about the group dynamic. Reading body language, watching peoples’ eyes, laughing and yelling when things go right, and groaning in disbelief when everything falls apart. The Mind, in all fairness, has no right being as good as it is with what comes in the box and its simplistic rules.
It just works.
There’s plenty of social deduction games, party games, etc… where you have to rely on other’s people’s communication skills or creativity to really enjoy the game. The Mind strips all that away to the absolute bare minimum, becoming playable by just about anyone no matter their tact, mental fortitude, or ability to read others’ emotions. It’s one of those games that after you play it you think to yourself, “How come I didn’t think up this game?”
The price point is sweet, too. At $15 it’s an impulse buy. Something you could feel comfortable taking a chance on, and you should. The game may not be for everyone, but it’s on I believe everyone should give a chance. You may just be surprised
I do not own the mind. A copy was not provided free for review.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.