24 April 2017
Around the World in 80 Days and Amalgam round out 2017 winners of Mensa Select award
For the last 17 years, the clever-clogs at Mensa have picked out five of their favourite games that are not only require brainpower to play, but are also fun and replayable.
Known as the Mensa Select awards, the high IQ society’s seal of approval has become one of the tabletop’s most treasured accolades – past winners include modern classics Magic: The Gathering, Hive and Castles of Mad King Ludwig, even going back to established family favourites such as Trivial Pursuit and Taboo.
The final winners are decided by the votes of hundreds of Mensa members and announced at the society’s annual Mind Games event, which took place this past weekend.
The games to earn the fabled honour this year included Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, the co-op deckbuilding game based on the beloved boy wizard, which irritating still isn’t available in the UK due to licensing restrictions – although you can pick up a copy from the US if you’re happy to eat the extra shipping costs.
There’s also Clank!, another deckbuilder which follows the antics of fantasy thieves as they attempt to steal treasure from a mountain guarded by a dragon, Hobbit-style. The name comes from the attempts to avoid making noise while sneaking around the stacks of metal and coins, which will wake up the fire-breathing lizard.
Harry Potter wasn’t the only book character to make it into the list, as the Jules Verne-inspired Around the World in 80 Days scooped up the prize. The idea in the game is to pace your voyage around the globe, balancing the need for funds required to travel and the race against the titular time limit to win the bet – and prove that you haven’t robbed the Bank of England.
Nor was Potter the only wizard to appear, with Amalgam taking the art of potion-making as its theme. Players gather ingredients to brew the strongest magical elixir, but must try and remember what they’ve already popped in the pot.
The fifth and final Mensa Select inductee was Imagine, a fast-paced party game that makes use of transparent cards with a series of abstract icons and images as players try to get their teammates to guess the given topic without speaking a word.