A stack of playing cards is sometimes all that is needed to inspire even experienced parlor players. The tactical card game The Mind by Wolfgang Warsch, published by Nürnberger Spielkarten-Verlag, was able to convince the critical jury of Spiel des Jahres eV and landed as a nominee on the list of three games, one of which will win the coveted game of the year 2018 critics award. We couldn't resist the ingeniously simple gameplay either, and we have each other The Mind brought to the gaming table for a review. You can find out whether the card game can live up to its advance praise in the following article on the only card game on the market that awakens your telepathic abilities.
Ingeniously simple is still too difficult
At the time of this writing, the cooperative card game is standing The Mind - Let's become one ...! on Nomination list for the Game of the Year 2018 award.
Well-known online retailers are charging just under nine euros for the card game The Mind from Nürnberger Spielkarten-Verlag. For such a small stake, even seasoned players are presented with a challenge that is second to none. It goes without saying that even the critics of the Spiel des Jahres eV couldn't resist the ingeniously simple game principle. The jury's reasoning stated:
"How is that supposed to work? A question that everyone asks themselves before their first game of "The Mind". Then comes the surprise: It works! The team manages to carry out the joint task without any agreements or gestures. Amazing! Fascinating! Brilliant! Wolfgang Warsch synchronizes the game world. Emotional moments enrich the increasing merging of spirit and matter. An amazing experience that every gamer should have."
What Wolfgang Warsch achieves with a simple basic idea makes The Mind more than just a good card game. Instead of placing the social skills of the participants in the foreground, as in many parlor games, Warsch pronounces a communication ban on The Mind. The Mind thus becomes the consistent further development of the idea that was the basis of the successful card game The Game: Players lose a significant part of their very own human need for communication. How much the character of a card game can change when you have to feel the plot of the game because you are not allowed to discuss it, only becomes clear when you get involved in a game of The Mind.
Playing numbers from 1 to 100 in ascending order can only be a challenge if the player cannot rely on the planned actions of other players. The Mind is a cooperative social experiment that ignites particularly when the set of rules - and thus the basic idea - is actually observed. We have often read on social media and in comments on The Mind that players consciously use gestures and facial expressions to make agreements or at least give vague hints about meaningful gameplay. Our express recommendation, however, is to refrain from any kind of communication - just like Wolfgang Warsch did for The Mind provides.
Fun formula: more games, more entertainment
There are legacy board games that are best played with the same line-up. And there is the card game The Mind, to which this rule also applies. Of course, the cooperative card game is also fun with changing players - it unfolds its full potential The Mind however, when the players get a chance to get to know each other. From round to round each player develops a feeling for the most likely behavior of his fellow players: Who hesitates when and for how long? What does the unconscious frown of a certain teammate mean? What do I think, do my fellow players think about me and my options for action? And: Why does a lot feel? The Mind so damn strange ?!
The greatest strength of The Mind takes place in secret: it is the initiated cognitive and emotional processes that make Wolfgang Warsch's card game a terrific title, the quality of which can easily be underestimated. A game that gets better and more entertaining with every game played is rightly one of the award-winning titles of the current gaming season.
The Mind - Let us become one ...! develops an almost contemplative effect right from the start. It starts with the mental preparation, the synchronization. If other players are asked to put their palms on the table to connect with each other before the round starts, it sounds strange on paper - maybe even superfluous. In game practice, on the other hand, it is precisely this process that sets the inner processes of the participants in motion. Each player tries in his own way to develop a feel for the playing time that has passed between moves. At the same time, everyone is careful to observe the individual reactions and behaviors of their fellow players. Almost every unconscious process can manifest itself in a game action. And the players involved are not always aware of how they have acted. It is obvious when a player clearly shifts his cards or shifts tautly in his chair. Less obvious are hesitant behavior, twitching the corner of the mouth or a careless hand movement.
The game ripples mostly smoothly and develops a tremendous pull. The group of players is usually torn from their meditative calm when completely unexpected - and overall rather rare - successes are achieved by playing out perfectly matched cards. For example, when a perfect sequence of numbers is laid out.
Because critical game situations often occur that hinder progress, the use of throwing stars should not be skimpy. Throwing stars are The Mind's wild cards and allow all players to discard their lowest card. The discard pile remains unaffected. Earning extra lives or throwing stars is therefore essential for reaching higher levels.
The simple basic concept should not hide the successful visual design of the playing cards. The illustrations of the cards from The Mind - Let's Become One ... are superb, charming, and part of the puzzle of quality. The card texts on the level cards, which even certify that players have telepathic abilities if their mental resources are successfully brought into line, also ensure an occasional smile. Act until the financial advisor arrives
Images of The Mind
Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 15 to 35 minutes
Long-term motivation: medium
Published by Nürnberger-Spielkarten Verlag
Author: Wolfgang Warsch
Graphics: Oliver Freudenreich
Year of publication: 2018
Cost: 10 Euro
You could get 100 players after a game The Mind ask about her emotional impressions and would probably hear 100 different statements. Everyone develops an individual feeling about the card game from NSV, also because players become aware during a game of what time can mean and how their own behavior can be influenced by supposed time limits. With The Mind Wolfgang Warsch created a grandiose work that has long-lasting effects on players. With every success, the feeling of the existence of an expanded collective consciousness develops - to the point that players actually believe in telepathic gifts. Time gradually loses its function as a verifiable fact and becomes a feeling.
It does it in an impressive way The Mind To arouse emotions in other players. What other games often try to force through dense background stories and story turns, this simple, ingenious card game manages by itself - with every card played.
The Mind reminds of the way The Game works and yet is so different. In disbelief, players face the idea of a card game without communication, in which even higher-level game objectives have to be achieved. When small and large successes occur, hardly any other player holds on to his meditation cushion: The Mind hits like a thought bomb. It connects to your mind - and there is nothing you can do about it!