DISCLAIMER: The opinions, ratings, and reviews stated in this document and related webpages are the sole personal opinions of Wei-Hwa Huang and Wei-Hwa Huang alone. Wei-Hwa Huang does not speak for the more than 200 participants on the Mensa Mind Games selection panel. This is not an official site of Mensa Mind Games or Mensa Select, although the statements on which games are winners of Mensa Select are factually correct. Mensa Mind Games and Mensa Select are registered trademarks of American Mensa.
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The game can seem frustrating, because it's not unlikely for someone who has no idea what the clues mean to play a "depository card", steal the phrase from a good player, and close the game -- but fortunately to mitigate this, the bonus for getting the phrase first is only 5 points. There are then a series of 5 trivia questions after the end of the game, each one worth 5 more points -- and each of them were answered on the clue cards if you were actually paying attention to them. So, it really does reward good "research" skills.
I don't think this game got a fair shake at Mind Games, mostly because it really doesn't work unless a fair number of players "get it". Our first game was a 90-minute plod as we went through the rules, trying to understand them and understand the point of everything. But our second game was this 20-minute frenzy where we were grabbing the dice and timer back and forth, trying to hurry through turns quickly so that we could deny other players precious clue study time. It really felt like the fast-paced cerebral thriller that the book was supposed to be.
As a final note, I think that there are parts of this game that are a bit fiddly and it's hard to play and manage at the same time -- if you can afford it, I would suggest having an umpire who manages time limits, makes sure people are taking their turns promptly, reads trivia questions, and so on.
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