Read my Mind
A follow-up to The Mind, Wolfgang Warsch’s telepathic card game phenomenon, is arriving later this year to challenge players’ clairvoyance once again.
The Mind Extreme sticks with The Mind’s central challenge: players are once again trying to play consecutive number cards from their hand to the middle without talking, giving signals or communicating in any way outside of a psychic link. Again, anyone can play a card at any time – there are no ‘turns’ – so winning comes down to a sense of when your next number’s up.
What makes this new sequel ‘Extreme’ is the addition of a second deck of cards. Rather than one deck numbered from one to 100, there are two separate piles that both run from one to 50. Each set of cards appears to be in a different colour to tell them apart.
The two piles run in different directions: one ascending from one to 50, the other descending from 50 to one. Players can play to either pile when they want, again trying not to skip any numbers that their silent companions hold – if they do, the group loses a life.
As such, The Mind Extreme seems to borrow some inspiration from Steffen Benndorf’s equally ungoogleable card game The Game, which was published by The Mind maker NSV in 2015 and received its own ‘Extreme’ sequel the following year.
In The Game, players play cards numbered two to 98 on four different piles, with half ascending and half descending. (Though players could also play any card exactly ten higher or lower than the current number.) Unlike The Game’s turn-based structure, though, The Mind Extreme is played in real-time, with anyone able to play a card or cards whenever they want.
Following on from The Mind’s 12 escalating difficulty levels, The Mind Extreme will have another set of rounds of increasing challenge, as players hold more and more cards in their hand. The Mind’s shuriken cards, which let the group collective discard their next card, make a return as a limited aid.
The new game will also pull from The Mind’s optional advanced mode, which forced players to play ‘blind’ by piling their cards facedown before revealing the whole stack at the end to see if they lost any lives. The Mind Extreme will include ‘blind’ levels as part of the normal game’s progression.
The Mind Extreme will be released at this year’s Essen Spiel game fair in late October. (Thanks, BoardGameGeek.) It's not clear whether that'll just be the German edition of the game for the time being, but if the original The Mind is anything to go by, it'll be easy enough to pick up in English either way.