The Mind Soulmates
- Designers: Reinhard Staupe, Wolfgang Warsch
- Publisher: NSV
- Players: 2-4
- Age: 8+
- Time: 20 minutes
The short description: “The Mind Soulmates uses the same principles of The Mind, with players trying to co-operate without communication to master multiple levels of card play.
In this game, however, in addition to playing numbered cards correctly in ascending order, they must also play all cards face down, revealing them only after all cards have been played. To help them do this, one player takes the role of seer — and the seer knows more than everyone else!
Each round, a specific number of cards are dealt out to players, and the seer is allowed to look at some of these cards in advance of play in order to give the team clues about these numbers on a wipeable board. After the players have placed all cards face down, the seer checks whether the cards are in the right order, thereby completing the level. If not, the team loses a life, and the seer distributes these same cards again. In addition, the seer gives another hint.”
Umm, literally you have read just about all the rules. The deck in this version is 50 cards, numbered from 1 to 50. At the start of each round, you refer to a card which tells you the parameters: how many cards are dealt out, how many the seer gets to look at, and how many clues the seer gets to give.
If your group can get to the end of the 12th round, you win! Otherwise, you lose when you run out of lives…
My thoughts on the game
Well, to start, I think if you’re a fan of The Mind, you’ll likely enjoy this. If you’re an expert at the Mind, actually, maybe you won’t like this as much because it does feel to be a bit on the easier side with the clues. I mean, if you can win The Mind without a teammate giving hints, you’re likely going to find this too easy… But, If you are the sort of person who thinks that The Mind is simply a nice activity to participate in (like me!), you might be the target audience.
In this game, the addition of clues changes things up more than you would suspect. When you are the seer, you have to figure out how to make the most of the limited information you are able to see. Not only will you be able to give a clue to your teammates, you’ll also know the identities of other cards in the round. Your teammates should also rely upon you for non-verbal guidance on the particular card distribution in the deal.
While this is really a fairly small change, it really does add a lot of agency to the players – now, it’s not just counting silently in your head or playing by feel; you have a little bit of information to work with – and for me, that elevates the whole thing from an activity to a game.
While you have only a limited number of lives, you should use your failures to help you pass the level on the next try. Make sure to remember which cards you have seen (and the seer will likely know all the cards as he is the one who has to check if the round has been played correctly!) – this will help you know when to play in the repeat round.
My group, which generally does not care for The Mind, enjoyed this version a bit more – and though others have said it’s easier, we have yet to progress past Round 9 (of 12) yet! The fact that we’ve played it long enough to even get to that stage says a lot about how different it feels compared to the original.
The rules are simple and just about anyone can play this. I think it makes a perfect game for casual evenings and family gatherings. I’m still not likely to suggest it, but of the entire The Mind family, this is the version I’m most likely to play, and given its general popularity, this will be the single version of the game that I keep in my collection.
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor