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 100 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.
If you have any questions or concerns about my reviews and comments, please feel free to mail me.
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Party Games: Word-based
Party Games: Artistic skill
"Roll Dice And Move" Games
Number and Math Games
Word and Language Games
Reflex and Reaction Games
Strategy Card Games
Family Strategy ("German") Games
Abstract Strategy Games -- Pure Abstract
Abstract Strategy Games -- Luck or Hidden Information
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Games With Original Themes
IntroductionWei-Hwa's report and reviews of the games at Mensa Mind Games in Phoenix, Arizona, in the year 2008. I might have played the games at that event. Sometimes I played the games at other gatherings. Each game has some photos, followed by a paragraph of description, some ratings, and a paragraph of commentary.
Actually, I didn't take photographs this year, because I was leaving on a trip to India immediately after the event and didn't want to bring my camera. However, other people may have taken some photos and if so, I'll get them up here.
The current photographs are by Nevin Liber.
I played most of these games in 35 hours. I've rated each game with three values from 1 to 10: replay value (how often could I play it?), fun factor (how often do I want to play it?), and worth buying (how badly do I want to own my own copy? are there any cool bits?). This year, I've added a new value, which I'm calling "MMG Popularity Rank". See below for what that means.
An asterisk (*) represents a winner of the Mensa Select Award.
The "Worth Buying" rating is based on my assessment of the game's quality, originality, and how easy it is to duplicate the experience with components found around the house. My text reviews tend to lean towards the game experience, which I find to be more important than discussions of the components, especially since game components can often get revised or changed. What this means is that since the components can often be improved in later editions of the game, you should take that "Worth Buying" number with a grain of salt, especially if the rating is low.
What's "MMG Popularity Rank"? Well, it's the order in which the games disappeared at the lottery giveaway at the end of the Mind Games event. This is only a rough estimate of popularity, of course, since for all we know the five big fans of the worst game could've gotten lucky and had their names called first. But it's not a bad first approximation.
Overall ImpressionsThis seemed to be the year where abstract games dominated and party games almost disappeared, along with the more story-oriented strategy games. Overall, the average quality of games seemed to go down; I gave out only one "fun factor" rating of 9, and everything else was lower.