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The Mind Two Player Review

Important Note:

All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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If you like intense one-on-one, silent staring contests, and looking right into someone’s soul, The Mind might be the game for you.   Be warned, playing this with someone you don’t know well, might be a little awkward.

The Mind Board Game Review

7 out of 10
The Mind Board Game Review

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes

We think The Mind is great for two players. The initial few rounds can be quite slow, especially for two players since fewer cards in total are being played each round as opposed to a four-player game. If you manage to push your way through the beginning rounds the later rounds are definitely worth it. 

Theme: 1/10
Replayability: 4/10
Components: 3/10

Conflict: 0/10
Fun: 8/10

Husband’s Rating
7 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
7 out of 10

Pros

Quick & Simple

Unique

Very personal

Small and takes little tablespace

Cons

Cards could be better quality

Initial rounds are slow

Lots of Shuffling

Gameplay Experience:

It took a while for us to give The Mind a chance to become a part of our collection.  Every time I saw this game or read about it, it just didn’t sound like there was much of a game there.  The tiny box, with its contents mostly being a deck of cards numbered 1 through 100, just didn’t seem like anything special.  We were proven wrong though, The Mind definitely brings something to the table.

The rules for The Mind take only a minute to read, and anybody new to playing the game will likely say “That’s It?” after you explain how to play.  Don’t let this game’s simplicity deceive you though, there is a lot of fun in this little 20 minute game.  All you have to do is take turns playing cards in order, without speaking. We both pessimistically said, “Really, that’s it?”.  We got ready to play our first round of The Mind anyway hoping this game would surprise us.

We dealt the single card to each other for round one, put our hands on the table as the rules instructed, even though that made us feel a little ridiculous.  I asked “Are you ready?”, my wife nodded, and then we picked up our hands and made intense, I mean super intense eye contact.  But only for a second and then my wife threw her 16 down and then I laid my 83 down.  

Hmmm, that didn’t seem very promising I thought.  We continued though and I dealt out the two cards each for round two.  Our intense eye contact went on for a little longer this time but we still easily managed to play our cards in the correct order.  The game still didn’t seem like anything exciting.

As the rounds continued though the game started to appear.  The number of cards dealt out increased each round, and the tense questionable moments also increased.  It was getting harder and harder to decide when to play our cards as we had more and more cards that were closer to each other, and unfortunately we made our first mistake.  I played a card higher than my wife’s lowest, making us lose one of our lives. 

Now we realized how easy it is to slip up in this game.  The pauses in playing cards just kept growing as we stared intensely trying to read each other in total silence, often bursting out in laughter just because that’s what staring at somebody in silence can do to you, especially your significant other.  You or your partner start to smirk and the laughter just comes out. 

After we could contain ourselves the game continued.  I don’t remember how far we made it in terms of rounds but, it wasn’t very far before we had lost all of our lives.  We were amazed at how fun the game ended up being, especially with how unexciting the early rounds seemed.  We ended up playing a few more games thanks to the quick playtime and enjoyed each of them, getting a little better each time.

Every game of The Mind we play has led to funny tense moments, exciting close calls, and some of the most intense staring you will ever see.  This is especially true if we make it to round 12, considering we have to lay down a total of 24 cards in order, without talking and usually very few lives left.  I’m sure our game sessions would make for great entertainment if you didn’t know what was going on.

The Mind Rules Summary:

The Mind is so simple and straightforward that many times when trying to play this game with new players they get confused about how to play.  Hopefully, we can avoid that confusion by keeping this gameplay summary even more simple.

In The Mind, you and other players will get dealt a number of cards equal to the round you are currently on.  Players have to try and lay their cards down in ascending order without communicating.  No player is allowed to disclose any information about their cards and no secret signs.

 If a higher card is played before another player lays their lower card down you will lose a life.  You start the game with as many lives as there are players.  You also start with one throwing star which can be used, allowing players to lay their lowest cards simultaneously without penalty.  Don’t worry, you have more opportunities throughout the game to gain new lives and throwing stars.

The Mind Lives and Throwing Star Cards
Lives and Throwing Stars Cards

That’s all there really is to The Mind, it is super easy to play.  If you can make it through round 12 before losing all your lives you have succeeded but it usually takes the right people and practice to reach victory.  

Our last game of The Mind
Here is our round 12 play, you can see we messed up and played the 46 before the 44, luckily we had one life to spare.

There is also a blind mode for after you win the game if you wish.  The rules say to start over at level one again with your remaining lives and throwing stars but this time to play blind, playing all cards face down and waiting until the end of the round to see how many mistakes and ultimately lives were lost.

Conclusion:

The Mind is such a simple game without any strategic depth to it.  You have only one decision to make over and over again, and that’s when to lay your cards down.  The initial rounds can be a little boring and uneventful depending on the deal but this is quickly resolved after a few rounds. Even given all this, The Mind still ends up being super fun and exciting.  It provides something unique and quick, that’s a perfect filler game. 

Is The Mind Good For Two Players?:

We think The Mind is good for two players. The initial few rounds can be quite slow, especially for two players since fewer cards in total are being played each round as opposed to a four-player game. If you manage to push your way through the beginning rounds the later rounds are definitely worth it. 

If you play this game with somebody you are close with it is pretty cool how quickly and effectively you can sync up and time your card laying.  With some practice and the right partner, it is very likely that you can make it to round 12. 

On the other hand, if you decide to play this game with somebody you don’t know all that well, it could be a little awkward to have such an intense staredown with each other.  Other than those situations though, The Mind provides a lot of fun for just two.

Pros

  • Quick & Simple
  • Unique
  • Very personal
  • Small and takes little tablespace

Cons

  • Cards could be better quality
  • Initial rounds are slow
  • Lots of Shuffling

The Mind Card Game - Addictive Mind-Melding Fun for Game Night! Cooperative Family Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games
The Mind Card Game - Addictive Mind-Melding Fun for Game Night! Cooperative Family Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games
The Mind Card Game - Addictive Mind-Melding Fun for Game Night! Cooperative Family Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games

We hope this The Mind two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


The Mind: Extreme Card Game - Synchronized, Reversed, and Twice the Challenge! Cooperative Strategy Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games
The Mind: Extreme Card Game - Synchronized, Reversed, and Twice the Challenge! Cooperative Strategy Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games
The Mind: Extreme Card Game - Synchronized, Reversed, and Twice the Challenge! Cooperative Strategy Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 8+, 2-4 Players, 15 Minute Playtime, Made by Pandasaurus Games

The Mind Extreme

If you've gotten too good at The Mind with your gaming partners, it might be time to try the Mind Extreme. This game changes things up a bit by adding a second descending-order pile to make things a bit harder. Players will have to play both descending and ascending cards simultaneously to win. Some rounds also are required to be played blind.

The Mind Extreme keeps what made the original good and just amps it up a few levels. If you think you might like the extra complexity and challenge of this version be sure to check it out.


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