The Mind card game is unlike any card game we have known before. It is about nothing less than mental fusion!
The Mind – Let’s become one…! That is the full title of this unusual card game.
It sounded a bit esoteric to us at first and caused big question marks on our faces. We opened the game, which was new to us, with excitement. Were these tarot cards after all? And how should it look like to “become one” in a card game?
One thing first: after reading the game instructions, we were sceptical at first, but after a few rounds we were honestly surprised by this game. The game principle of The Mind card game is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is absolutely unique (at least to our knowledge)!
Note on transparency: The Nuremberg Spielkartenverlag kindly provided us with a review copy of the game. However, this review is unpaid and reflects our independent opinion.
The rules sound simple at first. There are cards with numbers from 1 to 100, which are shuffled well and each player receives an increasing number of cards per round, starting with 1, then 2, then 3 cards and so on. All players play together in The Mind, not against each other.
At the beginning of each round, the players place a hand on the table to “synchronise”. Once everyone has raised their hand again, they start playing the cards with the common goal of placing the cards on the table in ascending order.
The special thing and the real difficulty of The Mind: there must be no (conscious) communication between the players. Neither by words nor by secret signs, not even by counting seconds in one’s head. Playing out is supposed to be purely intuitive.
“How? That’s supposed to work?”, we thought to ourselves. And indeed, we had our difficulties at the beginning.
In the first game with two players, we only got as far as the 4th round. Because every time a card is played too early, the players lose a life. After some rounds, however, you can gain a life or a throwing star.
A throwing star means that all players may put aside their lowest card and it can be used at any time. However, it should be used wisely.
Lives and throwing stars are also represented by cards placed on one side of the table.
Both the number of lives and throwing stars, as well as the number of rounds played, varies depending on whether you are playing in pairs, with 3 or 4 players.
We played The Mind card game both as a pair and as a foursome, which were both very interesting!
The first time there were only two of us and after the first few rounds we looked at each other a bit perplexed. What was the point of it all?
At first it seemed like a pure game of chance or luck and the point of the game wasn’t really apparent to us. But we played on. After all, according to the rules of the game, it should take a while to “become one with the other players.”
The “secret” of The Mind card game is actually a kind of intuitive synchronisation of shared time perception. And that’s without counting in one’s head.
It’s more like someone who might have 11 in their hand hesitates briefly, but if none of the other players lays a card, they lay it. The player with the lowest card, 23, is already getting ready, but before that someone else slams 15 on the table. That went well!
The more cards are dealt and the more players are involved, the more difficult it becomes. Especially as it can happen that several players have cards with numbers that are very close together. It happens quickly that you get “out of rhythm”, so to speak.
The throwing stars are meant for such situations. If everyone kind of hesitates and looks at each other a bit questioningly, a player can now use such a throwing star and everyone puts their lowest card aside. Provided there is still a throwing star available.
It really took quite a while for two of us to master the 12 rounds and four of us to master the 8 rounds provided, but in the end The Mind did arouse our ambition to play until we had done so.
We found it a little difficult to get into The Mind at first. But then gradually the understanding of the game principle set in and we started to enjoy it. When we played it for the first time as a foursome, the other two players initially felt the same way.
In our opinion, The Mind is not a game that can be played endlessly because the appeal is exhausted at some point. And it will not appeal to all game lovers, as some of the often central features of games are missing, such as strategy or competition.
On the other hand, the game experience in The Mind is something unique and therefore difficult to compare with other games. The idea alone of basing a card game on intuition and unconscious communication is truly original and deserves recognition.
In any case, The Mind is well suited for teaching children what a sense of time is. And among adults, its use for team-building purposes is also well conceivable, because it is all about “tuning in” to the other players.
The lovely design of the cards is also worthy of special mention. The telepathic bunnies look simply droll and the illustrations and captions for the individual levels such as “Enhanced Empathy” or “Expanded Consciousness” are wittily designed.
Melding with each other and guessing when to lay which card – the amazing thing about The Mind: it works! Intuition and unconscious communication play a central role in this card game. A card game that cannot be compared to any other and for which the age of the players is irrelevant.
Fancy some more terrific game tips? Have you heard of the imaginative family game Witch’s House or cooperative temple-building game Menara? We love games and write regularly about our discoveries. The colourful leisure ideas portal also includes lots of ideas for gifts and activities with children, the partner and the family!
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