Games from 2014 Mind Games
Dan Neher
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Publishers entered fifty-two games and four puzzle collections in the annual Mind Games competition held this past weekend in Austin, Texas. The winners can be found here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/172577/mensa-mind-game....
This was the finest selection of games that we've had to choose from in several years ---- only one stinker in the bunch. I would play all the others again, although I would not look forward to doing so in a couple of cases. The list of all the games follows, with some comments.
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1. Board Game: AttrAction [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:4612]
Dan Neher
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2. Board Game: Check Four [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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3. Board Game: Cheese Louise [Average Rating:3.90 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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4. Board Game: Clumsy Thief [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
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5. Board Game: Common Ground [Average Rating:4.64 Unranked]
 
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6. Board Game: Compounded [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1113]
Dan Neher
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Euphoria won, but the other two games close to it in complexity, Compounded and Freedom, also generated some buzz and disappeared fairly quickly in the post-convention game giveaway.
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7. Board Game: Convert [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:5723]
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8. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:372]
Dan Neher
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Seemed to polarize people, much as The Resistance did a few years ago.
 
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9. Board Game: Council of Verona [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1983]
Dan Neher
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10. Board Game: CrossWays [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:12084]
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The most confrontational game at the convention (unless that title goes to Coup). You spend many turns destroying the connections that your opponent makes. It works well, though, if you like direct conflict in games.
 
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11. Board Game: Disruptus [Average Rating:5.07 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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12. Board Game: Doctor Wars: The Hospital Strategy Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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13. Board Game: Down 'n' Out! [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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This clearly is a labor of love for its designer, who does not appear to have played many games of the type that he has designed. Maybe he's still in the process of refining the game.
 
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14. Board Game: The Duke [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:392] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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Not my thing. Considering its reviews and all the awards it has won, I must be out of step.
 
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15. Board Game: Elbows Up! [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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It's Wizard with the same number of cards dealt every hand, a 5-suited deck, and an overpowered joker. To their credit, the designers did not overdo things in trying to bring something new to the trick-taking genre. On the other hand, it's similar enough to other such games, that you can play it with a Sticheln deck.
 
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16. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:310]
Dan Neher
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A winner. Who woulda thunk it?
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17. Board Game: Even Steven's Odd [Average Rating:5.96 Unranked]
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18. Board Game: Fish to Fish [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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19. Board Game: Fluxx: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:8003]
Dan Neher
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20. Board Game: Forgo [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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21. Board Game: Four in a Square [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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22. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:304]
Dan Neher
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One woman, sitting down to play, wondered whether it was appropriate to turn this aspect of history into a game. Hers was the only comment I heard regarding the game's theme. I never did check back to hear her thoughts after she played.
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23. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:885] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Dan Neher
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24. Board Game: Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:849]
Dan Neher
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The sort of game I expect to see win. Easy to get into, with simple but interesting strategies. For my taste though, there was a little too much of predicting your opponents' moves.
 
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25. Board Game: Karesansui [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:4108]
Dan Neher
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