23 November 2019
This is foam block fun at its best.
Collaborative party games can be hit and miss, often not because of anything in the game but because of the people who have been invited to the party itself. It would be hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t happily dive in to the foam-block-building fun of Mental Blocks.
It’s a game of understanding one another’s point of view. Each player taking a secret perspective card and then using the colourful but tastefully designed foam blocks (cuboids and triangles of varying sizes) to build the 3D form from their perspective against the clock. But of course, it depends how you look at it. Your collaborators
have their own perspective on the 3D object you are building so communication is the key. Often a round will start with someone wildly building their view and others no-no-noing their way through it. You’ll soon get to know how your group likes to see things, for good or ill.
The game has a nice difficulty curve, taking you from 'family' to 'challenge' progressively. It also comes with a number of rules modifiers, like “you cannot directly touch any white blocks” which can be randomly dealt out to add further roadblocks to proceedings.
The game expands up to nine players and includes a “traitor” mode when there are a good number of builders at the table. This mode allows for one player to attempt to ruin the game by convincing the others their moves are wrong. Naturally, this mode can be won by the rest of the table correctly voting out the traitor.
This is foam block fun at its best. A collaborative game on the theme of having a well-structured argument with loved ones that delivers exactly the kind of interaction you’d hope.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN EGGETT
PLAY IT? YES
Designers: Jonathan Gilmour, Micah Sawyer
Artist: Katie Khau
This review originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.