MindTrap is a series of lateral thinking puzzle games played by two individuals or teams. Invented in Canada, it is the main product of MindTrap Games, Inc., who license the game for manufacture by various companies including Blue Opal, the Great American Puzzle Factory, Pressman Toy Corporation, Spears and Winning Moves.
Players are given a puzzle from a card and a limited amount of time to solve it. Each correct answer advances the player or team along a track printed on the scorecard; they win by being the first to reach the end. Unlike in Trivial Pursuit, there is no way for the players to decide what type of question they will answer; since the rules are so light, the board game aspect of MindTrap is often called into question, and players often ignore the score sheet and just take turns reading out and trying to solve the puzzles.
The original game contained only logic and lateral thinking puzzles, while later editions added other types of brain teasers including tangrams and stick puzzles. Lateral thinking problems are identified by a diamond on the question side of the card, indicating that answering team are allowed to ask "yes/no" questions about the puzzle scenario. These puzzles often give unnecessary information in order to distract the answerer from a simple, common sense solution, and play on common assumptions. Some questions play on words or pictures and some on everyday trivia.
Many scenarios and characters reoccur throughout the puzzles, including murders and other crimes investigated by detective "Shadow" (and perpetrated by villains including "Sid Shady" and "Sam Sham"), and tricks performed by magician "Dee Sceptor".
Four MindTrap games have been published as of 2009:
- MindTrap (1991) - the original game, consisting only of logic and lateral thinking puzzles
- MindTrap II (1997) - a sequel introducing additional puzzle types
- Ultimate MindTrap (2001) - another sequel, with new puzzles in the various types introduced in MindTrap II
- MindTrap: The Revised Edition (2007) - a new edition comprising puzzles from MindTrap and MindTrap II