Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

The Mind


Wolfgang Warsch

Nürnberger Spielekarten Verlag (NSV)

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Today I want to attract your attention to a little card game from NÜRNBERGER SPIELEKARTEN VERLAG: The Mind. The game is no longer a hidden gem, since it was nominated for the DEUTSCHER SPIELPREIS and the SPIEL DES JAHRES award. But still a lot of gamers don't know much about the game. Thus, I think it is time to introduce you into the game.

But first let's discuss the question: how can it be that a simple card game attracts so much attention? Strictly speaking, The Mind is not even a game. You only get cards with numbers from 1 to 100 and you have to sort them in ascending order. That sounds silly, doesn't it? The clue is that you are not alone. 2-4 players are trying to sort together, and everyone has only a small part of the cards in his hand, hidden from the other players. Speaking, however, isn't aloud.

Whenever a player thinks it is time to play a card, he can do so. So, how does this work? How do the players know that it's their turn to play a card? Well, I cannot say! I just don't know how it works. Some say, the solution is empathy. We are leaving the applied sciences at this point, but in the end, it often works. It is really amazing. You just look into the eyes of your fellow players, and you will know the right moment to play a card.

If you think that's too complex, or even think that it's pure magic, I can reassure you. The game starts easy. In the first level, every player just gets one hand card. Then the players look themselves straight in the eyes and without speaking, they determine the right moment to play the card. If all goes well, the next level is ahead of us. However, in case a player has played a card that does not fit to the ascending order (if another player still holds a card with a lower number in his or her hand), the players together loose a life (depending on the number of player, 2-4 lives is what we get at set-up).

In the next level, two cards are already dealt to every player. Again it is our task to play all cards in hand in ascending order on just one pile for all players. If you are successful, this continues up to level 12, in which 12 cards would be distributed to every player. If none of the players have any idea when the right moment would come to play a card, you can suggest to use a joker, a throwing star. If all players agree, each player discards the lowest card in their hands faced-up. As a result, all player know the lowest card that was still in play.

I really don't know how it works, but it does. Well, you won't reach level 12 in every game, in fact I have never reached this level up to now. But it is still amazing that you often find yourself in a situation in which one player plays a card after some heavy hesitation, and immediately after that another player plays a card with a deep sigh only one point higher than the card before.

The Mind is not a typical game, the publisher itself calls it an experiment. But it is great to take part. And I can understand why it was nominated for all these awards. Maybe it is too small to win, but it is definitely worth to be taken along. With a maximum game duration of 20 minutes, I think that The Mind should find a way to a lot of game collections. So, if you don't have the game already, go for it now!

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Copyright © 2018 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany