September 16, 2021 – 2021 Mensa Select winners have been announced. After a year of hiatus, the organization for geniuses has announced the board games that get the coveted seal of approval showing they are the top titles that are each original in concept, challenging, and well designed.
After nearly four days of nonstop gameplay at Mensa’s 2021 World Gathering, American Mensa and Mensa members have recognized 10 tabletop games with the coveted distinction:
- Bermuda Pirates, by FoxMind Games
- ClipCut Parks, by Renegade Game Studios
- Gates of Delirium, by Renegade Game Studios
- Gridopolis, by Gridopolis Games
- Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon, by IELLO USA
- Kodama 3D, by Indie Boards and Cards
- Mental Blocks, by Pandasaurus Games
- Stripes, by Breaking Games
- Village Pillage, by Jellybean Games
- WHO KNOWS WHO, by Digby Doo
SEE ALSO: Every Mensa Select Winner By Year
Bermuda Pirates is a highly original game where players’ boats are literally captured by the sea on their way to the treasures. Each player must push their boat with only one finger and reach the treasure island in the center of the board and grab some treasures. Avoid the whirlpools (magnets) as your boat might sink and you will need to start again! First player to get 4 different kinds of treasures wins. For 2 – 4 players, games run approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
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ClipCut Parks is a first of its kind, innovating roll-and-write gameplay as the first roll-and-cut game. The city needs your help! The mayor has called on you to create a set of gorgeous parks with greenery to beautify the urban landscape. With a pair of scissors and a plan, use your snipping talents to clip a park full of dazzling multi-colored features. The first player to complete five park cards wins. For 1 – 4 players, games last approximately 30 minutes.
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Gates of Delirium
Players have a hand of split action cards: one side sane, and the other insane. Every round, one player decides whether the round is sane or insane, and all players must play that side of their cards. During sane rounds, players search for maps and lost pages to a secret tome, while assigning investigators to help them in their cause. During insane rounds, players collect ancient runes and work to build gates to release the monstrosities that their sane selves have been trying so hard to understand and prevent. Most victory points wins. For 2 – 4 players, games run 30 – 45 minutes.
Gridopolis is a three-dimensional strategy game. If you have ever played checkers or chess, you get the idea. Only now, we are playing in 3D. This means you can move and jump and play in any direction! You can move horizontally, vertically, and diagonally – plus across multiple levels. Using an innovative (yet amazingly simple) structural system, game play happens in a three-dimensional space called a grid-set. And, unlike other games, the grid-set is dynamic and changes during play. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 15 – 90 minutes.
For More: Gridopolis Page | How To Play Gridopolis | Gridopolis Review | Games Like Gridopolis | Find Best Gridopolis Prices on BGA
Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon
Ishtar is a game in which you play the role of a gardener aiming to transform the dry desert into the Lost Hanging Gardens of Babylon. To accomplish your mission, you will have to plant flowers, to help you gather precious gems and activate actions. Whether you buy Trees (to block spaces) or purchase upgrades (to get points), collecting gems will be crucial. Get them before your opponents, recruit apprentices, send them to earn points in the copses of flowers you have created, block others and think carefully of the upgrades to purchase to become the best. For 2 – 4 players, games go approximately 45 minutes.
Players will grow trees in three-dimensional space. Players move their kodama pieces around a 4×4 grid of branch tiles in order to pick the branches they want to add to their tree. When a player adds a branch to their tree that doesn’t match what it is touching, they choose a goal card from the ones available. After all players have placed 12 branches on their tree, players score all of their goal cards. The player with the most points wins. For 2 – 4 players, games run 30 – 40 minutes.
For More: Kodama 3D Page | How To Play Kodama 3D | Kodama 3D Review | Games Like Kodama 3D | Find Best Kodama 3D Prices on BGA
Mental Blocks is a game of puzzling perspectives, with players trying to complete a puzzle using oversized foam blocks, despite seeing only one perspective of the design. You have to co-operate to complete the puzzle as a team, but you have a time limit, so don’t just sit around staring at the pieces. In addition to the time pressure, players have other challenges, such as not being able to talk or to touch certain color blocks. For 2 – 9 players, games last 10 – 20 minutes.
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Players have a row of seven cards on the table featuring many horizontal lines in a variety of colors. The goal is to make a single stripe of one color across your card set. Each turn, you select one of the action cards to change your cards: flip, swap, steal, draw, etc. There are a certain set of actions available each round, depending on the number of players. How many moves will you take to complete your stripe and win? For 2 – 6 players, games run 10 – 20 minutes.
For More: Find Best Stripes Prices on BGA
Protect your borders, attack your neighbors, and be the first to collect three turnip relics! Players simultaneously choose two cards from their hand and play one against each neighbor. All cards are revealed at once, then resolved in order. Farmers produce turnips, Walls block Raiders, Raiders steal turnips, and Merchants either add new cards to your hand or help you purchase a relic. All cards return to hand, and the next round begins! Getting all three royal relics wins. For 2 – 5 players, games last about 20 minutes.
For More: Find Best Village Pillage Prices on BGA
WHO KNOWS WHO
The challenge of this game is to answer question cards drawn by other players. If you can’t answer a question correctly, you then receive a Debit. If you receive four Debits, you now get a Task from the player who asked you your last question. A Task can be a project, favor, item, chore, assignment, etc., to be completed anytime after the game has finished. There are ways to lessen a Task or even eliminate it. It’s easy to keep track of any Debits you may receive on your specialized Tracker Card.