Skip to Content

The Mind (2018) Card Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

The Mind (2018) Card Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Objective of The Mind

The objective of The Mind is to work with your teammates in order to play all of your cards in ascending order.

Setup for The Mind

  • Depending on the number of players, set aside level, life, and throwing star cards.
    • 2 players: level cards 1-12, 2 lives, 1 throwing star
    • 3 players: level cards 1-10, 3 lives, 1 throwing star
    • 4 players: level cards 1-8, 4 lives, 1 throwing star
Setup in The Mind
This game has four players. The players will use four lives, one throwing star, and eight level cards.
  • Return the level cards you don’t use to the box. Set the remaining lives and throwing stars aside to form a supply.
  • Place the level cards face up on the table in a stack. You will place the card face up with the one on top and the highest level on the bottom.
  • Shuffle the number cards. Deal a number of cards to each player equal to the current level (one card each for the first level). Players should hold the cards where only they can see the numbers on them. Place the remaining number cards face down in a stack.

Playing The Mind

The Mind is broken down into levels. The objective of each level is to play all of the cards from the players’ hands in ascending order (low to high).

You will begin each level with a concentration phase. Each player should place one of their hands palm down on the table. You should use this time to get on the same wavelength as the other players. Players cannot discuss strategy or what cards they have in their hand at any time. At any time during a level the players can agree to pause the level and concentrate again.

After the concentration phase the players will start playing cards from their hand.

Playing Cards

There are no turns in The Mind. Players can play a card from their hand at any time. When playing a card you must play the lowest card from your hand. A player can decide to play multiple of their cards in a row before another player plays a card. You can’t play two cards at the exact same time though.

Playing A Card
The first card played this level was a five. As the card has a low value, it should be played pretty quickly.

The objective of the level is to have the player with the lowest card play their card first. The player with the next lowest card should then play their lowest card next. This continues until all of the players have played all of their cards.

Playing A Card Correctly in The Mind
After the first player played the five, the players waited for a while before anyone played a card. The next card that was played was a 17. As this card is higher than the five, it was played correctly as long as none of the players had a card higher than 5 but lower than 17.

This might seem simple. The catch is that players can never communicate while playing cards. They cannot discuss strategy or the numbers on their cards. They also may not use secret signs or anything else that would give an indication to the other players about what cards that they have in their hand.

Incorrectly Playing A Card

Should a player play a card when another player has one that is lower, the game will immediately pause. The team will lose one of their lives. You will add one of your life cards to the supply.

Playing A Card Incorrectly in The Mind
After a while a player decided to play their 68 card on the 45 card. This card was played incorrectly because one of the other players had a 67 card in their hand. The team will lose one of the lives because of the mistake.

The players then look at the cards in their hand. All of the players discard any of the cards from their hands that are lower than the card that was just played.

After all of corresponding cards are discarded, the players continue playing the current level where they left off.

Completing A Level

If all of the players play the cards from their hand and the players still have lives remaining, they have successfully completed the level.

Finishing A Level in The Mind
In level one each player is dealt one card. In this four player game the players successfully completed the level without losing a life. They played the 5 first, followed by the 17, 47, and 81.

If the card has a reward on it (shown by a symbol on the card in the bottom right corner), the players collect the corresponding reward. 

One of the players then returns the level card to the box.

Completing a Level in The Mind
As the players successfully completed the level, they will return the level one card to the box.

Shuffle all of the number cards. Deal each player new cards equal to the current level. The players will then play the next round in the same way as the previous round.

Using A Throwing Star

During the game you will acquire throwing stars.

Throwing Star Card

At any time the players can decide to use one of their acquired throwing stars. Players will signal that they want to use a throwing star by raising their hand. If all of the players agree to use the card, you will move one of your throwing stars to the supply pile. The game will then temporarily pause.

All of the players discard the lowest card remaining in their hand face up to the table.

Using A Throwing Star
As the throwing star card was used, each player discards the lowest card left in their hand.

After each player discards a number card, the game resumes where it left off.

End of The Mind

The Mind can end in a couple different ways.

If the players ever run out of lives, they will immediately lose the game. To try again the players will start at level one.

If the players complete the last level card in the stack and still have lives remaining, they will all win the game. If the players want a greater challenge they can try out “blind mode”.

Blind Mode

The game is set back to level one, but players do not reset their lives or throwing stars. The players once again try to complete all of the levels.

The catch to blind mode is that players will play all of their cards face down to the pile in the middle of the table. Thus players can’t see what numbers the other players are playing.

Once everyone has played all of their cards, you will turn the stack over. The players check to see if they played the cards in the right order. If there is a mistake, the players lose one of their lives.

Players will keep playing new levels until they run out of lives. They will try to make it through as many lives as possible.

Strategy for The Mind

At this point you might be wondering how you are supposed to play The Mind without having any knowledge of what cards the other players have. There is a catch to the game which you need to master in order to win the game.

The Mind is built around all of the players getting in sync. To determine whether you should play a card, all of the players have to utilize a sort of internal clock. Measuring the amount of time that has passed since the last card was played is a good way to do this. Basically you should use the passage of time to let you know that the other players don’t have a low enough card to play at the current time. For example for each second that passes, you should raise your internal count by one. The game doesn’t specifically allow you to count to yourself. As you play the game though, you start to get a feeling about when you should play your next card.

Components for The Mind

Year: 2018 | Publisher: Pandasaurus Games | Designer: Wolfgang Warsch | Artist: Oliver Freudenreich

Genres: Card, Cooperative

Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 20-30 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light-Moderate | Luck: Light-Moderate

Components: 100 number cards (1-100), 12 level cards, 5 live cards, 3 throwing star cards, instructions

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.

For more board and card game how to plays/rules and reviews, check out our complete alphabetical list of board game posts.