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The Mind

The Mind

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If You Like: Irrelevant Rabbits! Sentient connection with your friends.

Player Count: Co-operative for 2-4 Players

Complexity Rating: 1 - Light

Average Playtime: 15 Minutes

A Russian designer made a thing and then put bunnies on the cover, and then he thought Shurikens were appropriate.
A deck contains numbers 1-100, during the game you either complete 12,10,8 levels with 2,3,4 players respectively. For a level, each player gets a number of cards equal to the level, and once you are ready to start, place your hand on the table.
When the level starts: no talking, no gesturing, just play the cards in ascending order. The only means of communication is eye contact. The team starts the game with a set collective number of lives and shurikens. Everytime someone has broken order in a level, the team loses a life. When the team agrees to use a Shuriken, each player discards their lowest card face up, giving everyone information and getting you closer to completing the level.

First thing we will say about this game, is that it is so much more than just a game. It is an experience, a mind-bending exercise with you and the other players, turning simple cooperation and teamwork into… primordial soup? Let us explain.

The game elements might sound simple and straightforward: “just play all the cards in ascending order”, right? And at first glance this just boils down to guesswork, statistics, or pure feel depending on the individual but we stress that this is not the case. After spending three hours straight playing the Mind with my best friends that I have known since high school, we had reached a completely new level of understanding and cohesion with each other.

It got to a point where we did not use any lives or shurikens to get to and complete the final level because we were so in-sync with one another, and if you’re wondering: no we did not develop gestures or signals to cheat the game.

For the record, you are not really playing The Mind if you ever think to implore some system of communication other than pure eye contact however, slight facial and body expressions at times cannot be helped.

The Mind is absolutely beautiful and bold in that it forces players to really look at everyone around them, and there is always that strong sense of connection with each other. You might be sitting there during the deafening silence trying to figure out whether you should play your 43 when the most recent card played was only a 13…And you learn, you will fail, but each time you do you will all start to re-calibrate closer and closer to each other: committing to memory how fast each person accelerates through counting numbers in their head, and that feeling when the two or more of you lock eyes because you all think your card is potentially next.

For a game that takes under a minute to explain but can be played over and over again, we absolutely recommend that you should buy The Mind… unless eye contact and connected-ness is not your cup of tea?