Step-by-step instructions on how to play The Mind Board Game. This is a lovely cooperative card game that is all about working together to solve a number puzzle. Not being able to communicate causes big barriers and working together to overcome that is both challenging and fun. Very light on intensity but still a rich and deep co-op experience. This is our definitive guide on how to play The Mind.
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HOW TO PLAY THE MIND – WHAT IS IT?
This is more than just a game. It’s an experiment, a journey, a team experience in which you can’t exchange information, yet will become one to defeat all the levels of the game. Round after round, players need to put down all their cards in order collectively without saying anything. The numbers are 1 – 100 and you get some each round. Using math and visual cues, you need to get the job done as a group. For 2 – 4 players.
You will be surprised at how the flow of your play changes after a few games and you have learned the pace of the other players in your game. Using the information around you to try and achieve this crazy goal together makes for a great deal of fun.
HOW TO PLAY THE MIND – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 15 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play The Mind the popular cooperative number strategy and communication card game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Bunny and Throwing Star Cards
From the available cards, separate out the bunnies and throwing stars. Deal out 1 throwing star and bunnies equal to the number of players.
2. SETUP | Form the Level Deck
Separate the Level 1 – 12 cards and form a deck of them in ascending order. The top card should be level 1 and the bottom level 12 (for a two player game). For a 3 player game only go to “level 10” and in a 4 player game only go to “level 8”, discarding the leftovers back to the box. Put this deck with the bunnies and star.
3. SETUP | Deal Out Starting Mind Deck Cards
The remaining cards have the back that says “the mind” with cards 1 – 100. Shuffle these up well and set them aside. This is the final step of setup before gameplay in how to play The Mind.
4. GAMEPLAY | Start Level
As mentioned in the setup, games have at least 8 levels (10 for 3 player and 8 for 2 players). Each level has similar steps. To start, you are kicking off round 1.
5. GAMEPLAY | Deal Out Cards Equal To Level
Deal each player a number of cards from The Mind deck equal to the round number. This is the number of cards people need to get out of their hands before the level ends, getting increasingly difficult over time.
6. GAMEPLAY | Hands In Signal
To kick off a round, everyone puts their hand in and then takes it out to signify the round has begun. This gesture is used throughout the game and key because the pauses you leave are important and everyone needs to be on the same page that you are starting.
7. GAMEPLAY | Play The Mind Cards In Order
There is no turn order or limit to what a player can do. The key is that players need to play cards in order (from 1 – 100) from lowest to highest. For example, in round 1 everyone has a single card. Those numbers could be “1”, “5”, and “100”. The “1” knows to go right away because it is the absolute lowest and the “100” knows to go last because it is the absolute last but what about the “5”. They know they don’t want to go right away because there is always 1 – 4, but chances are they are pretty low, so they do want to go fast. This is the entire gameplay mechanic of how to play The Mind.
8. GAMEPLAY | Use Throwing Star
At any point a player may raise their hand to signify they want to use. If all other players then raise their hands, it is used, and if not, the star is not used. Remove a star from your stack to signify its use and everyone flips their lowest card up in front of them. This helps give a new piece of information to everyone.
9. GAMEPLAY | On Success Move To Next Level
Since you have successfully gotten rid of all the cards in your hand in order, you move on to the next level. Shuffle all the The Mind cards back into the deck and shuffle, get rid of the top level card you just beat, take any rewards it has and start from the beginning of these gameplay steps.
10. GAMEPLAY | On Success Move To Next Level | Special Reward
At the bottom of each level card is a small bonus symbol that may be a bunny or it may be a throwing star. When you beat a level, you get that reward. Take an available card of that type and add it to your communal usable stack. If there are no available extras (because you are doing so well) you do not get that bonus.
11. GAMEPLAY | Use Bunny On Fail
If at any given point, an error is made and cards are played out of order, the affected cards are flipped up. Regardless of how many there are (it might be one player with one card, it might be multiple players with multiple cards), those are slide under the active played card and you lose a bunny. These are your lives. When you have none left you lose. You then continue as normal.
12. LOSING | No More Bunnies
In how to play The Mind, you lose the game the moment you no longer have any bunnies remaining. It is over, you do not continue past that point.
13. WINNING | Make It Through All Level
If you have successfully made it through all of the The Mind levels, you have collectively won the game. You can all take a moment to collectively cheer.
HOW TO PLAY THE MIND – KEY INFORMATION
To stop the game at any time, any play can put their hand in the middle of the table. This signifies a “lets take a breath” moment, if anyone wants to break the current cycle and take a beat. In how to play The Mind, it is like a timeout during a basketball game. All players put their hands in, and everyone takes it out to get things going again.
You are not supposed to say what you have in your hand to other players. This is obviously one of the biggest grey areas in board game history. There are hundreds of ways to indicate what you have without coming right out and saying it. Board games are about fun and comradery so no need to play this strict, find the level that is comfortable and challenging for your group.
There are super-secret how to play The Mind rules that are unlocked once you beat the base game. We will leave it up to you to unlock these The Mind advanced rules. Spoiler alert, it is fun and you should do it.
- 100x Number Cards (1-100)
- 12x Level Cards (1 – 12)
- 5x Bunny Life Cards
- 3x Throwing Star Cards
- 1x Instruction Sheet
HOW TO PLAY THE MIND – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say you know how to play The Mind. This cooperative number strategy and communication game has been winning hearts over one game at a time. The Mind is at the top of its class at what it does. With such an elegant balance of mechanics working together, you will be curious why it took so long for something like this to come into existence. Well, it is here now and ready for you to give it a play.