Theme and What is it?

Do you have a sixth sense? Can you read your friend’s mind? The Mind game is a test of mental endurance. Players must work as a team to reach new levels that become more difficult as the game progresses.

Gameplay Mechanics

The Mind contains cards numbered 1-100 in the deck. The number of levels played is determined by the number of players. If there are 2 players, you are trying to beat level 12; 3 players, level 10 and 4 players, level 8. 

Starting at level, 1 you are dealt 1 card, two cards in level 2, 3 cards in level 3 etc. You work together to play each card one at a time in ascending order, to the center of the table on a single discard pile. You are not allowed to communicate in any way!  You simply stare at each other, maybe giggle or hold your breath, and when you think you have the lowest card that can be played, you play it. 

If your card is the lowest number, that is good and the game continues. If any other players have a card lower than the one you just played, they say stop and show their card(s). The team loses one life. 

The number of lives you start with depends on the number of players. Lose all your lives, and the game is over. You are also given one ninja star. How the ninja star works: 1st-everyone must agree to use it, by raising their hand (remember, there is no talking).  2nd-if everyone agrees to use it, each player then discards their lowest card face up.  This allows all players to see the next lowest number in everyone’s hand and better assess what number to play next. As levels are completed, you may earn a reward of either a ninja star or extra life. Finish all the levels and win!

There is also an advanced play where you follow all the same rules, only instead of showing your number face up, you each lay your card face down and hope that you have the numbers in the right order. 

Initial Impressions

I had seen a lot of posts going around on Instagram with pictures of The Mind. I thought the game came in a bigger box and was surprised to see that it was much smaller than I expected. I didn’t know anything about the game until I read the directions.  I wondered how this game would work without talking. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed playing it. There may have been some weird, awkward and funny faces made during each level, but we succeeded in our goal and giggled along the way. 

Game Build Quality

The game is a deck of cards. They are durable and if treated well, can last a long time. You can put sleeves on them if you want to, but the sleeves aren’t necessary. 

Artistic Direction

The art is minimalistic, and the numbers are small font graphics.  There is a picture of a cute bunny, which represents a life, or a picture of a ninja star.  The most interesting aspect of artwork is found on the level cards. Each level card has its own design. This can get lost when playing the game because players are so focused on the round. It is a simple design and doesn’t take away from the game, in fact, I think it adds to it. 

Fun Factor

It is so hard to not talk! I think that is what makes it fun! You are dying to say something as you worry about the number that will be played. You are stressed wondering if you have the lowest number, and then you hesitate to even lay down a card, for fear of losing a life. It is a wonderful feeling when you have completed a level, you release a little of that stress, only to have it build again when the next level is played.

Age Range & Weight

The recommended age is 8+. Younger kids can play it, but you may lose a few lives because they may not comprehend the gap between numbers. To really enjoy it, you should play with older, more mature players. 

Conclusions

If you are looking for a creative, entertaining, cooperative game, The Mind would be a good choice. There are tense moments, lots of laughter and many sighs of relief! The premise of The Mind seems so simple, but within that simplicity is a game that will bring hours of entertainment. Is The Mind for everyone? No way. It seems like about 1/3 of the people I talk to have either tried it and not liked it, or they aren’t even interested. My suggestion is that if you are interested in The Mind, give it a try and see what you think for yourself. You may find a new game to show all your friends.

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