Product Type: other board games
Newest Review: ... before they give their final answer. The reader who knows the answer can only reply to other player's questions with a "yes"... more
Will you fall in the trap?
Member Name: Carrie23
Date: 11/12/11, updated on 11/12/11 (104 review reads)
Advantages: great team game, promotes creative thinking, improve problem solving skills
Disadvantages: repetitive once you read all the questions
MindTrap was launched in 1991 from Paul Lamond Games with unexpected success. It is a brain training board game for 2 or more players, suitable for anyone aged 12 and over. This social board game is comprised of many little mysteries that challenge the players to change their thinking and find many different solutions for the same problem.
There are 200 cardboard cards in the game and each playing card has a question printed in the front while the answer is written on the back side. The aim of the game is to answer correctly as many questions as possible and reach the end of the path on a scoring board. There also one die in the box with numbers from 0 to 3 and number 1 is repeated on 3 different sides. When the dice is used in the game, it indicates how many squares forward the player should move on the game path.
I imagine that the die counts up to 3 because it would be impractical to score more than three steps. It would shorten the gameplay and it would be difficult for the team that stays behind to get the lead back in the game.
The players form two teams and one person at a time reads a question from the card pack. If the opposite team players answer correctly, they move one step forward on the score path and they request another question or they have the option to throw the die and move forward as many squares as the die says and therefore end their turn. If they are incorrect, they lose their turn and they are the ones that will ask the next question.
There are two scoring paths for this game, the short (14 squares for each team) and the long game (24 squares). The paths are divided in small "hollow" squares and the progress of the players is marked on those paths. Both paths have an optical illusion and initially they look exactly the same, but if you look closer you will see that in the long game the paths are longer and with more squares for each team. One team takes the darker path and the others play with the lighter. The group that will reach the end of the path first wins the game. There is no time limit for the game but the players can set their own to avoid endless games.
There are some cards in the game that have a small black diamond above the question, on the top left of the card. Those are called enquiry cards and they allow the answering team to ask any question they want to the reader, before they give their final answer. The reader who knows the answer can only reply to other player's questions with a "yes", "no", or "irrelevant". However, if they fail to find the correct solution, the reader's team gets a bonus question on their turn.
- A challenging Question & Answer game
According to the creators, the key of the game's success is that it focuses on the players and not on the game itself. MindTrap is mainly a question and answer game but it has a basic difference from similar games of this kind. It is not based on knowledge questions and it requires a lot of thinking and the ability to watch things from a different angle. Most of the questions are tricky and you can easily be misled from the wording of the question and search for the answer in the wrong direction.
The secret is to look behind the actual question, find what clues you can get from the words used and pay attention to what is not mentioned. For example, from the words used in the question, your mind might make an assumption because you have connected a certain word with a specific situation. I remember that in one question there was a black dog named "Midnight" in the middle of a road with no lights and I was asked how the driver of passing car with broken lights has avoided him. From the description used in the question, I immediately assumed that it was night-time although it was not mentioned anywhere. Because why would it be important to mention the lights if it was daytime? The words black and midnight also created the image of night in my mind. This is exactly the trap that the game wants the player to fall in to, and think that the answer must be so complicated but it was actually pretty simple: It was daytime!
Generally, most of the questions are thinking puzzles, logical riddles and mysteries that the player is called to solve. They don't require any calculations, the concept is to think with logical steps before you get to the final solution and pay attention to the information given.
The large collection of cards can be categorised in three main types of questions:
* First, it's the questions that you think that the answer is obvious and easy, but there is always a trap. In this type of questions you need to fully comprehend what you are asked and think twice before you jump at the first obvious answer. Depending on the subject and your logic, you might also over analyse a simple problem and find it hard to give a certain solution.
* Lateral Challenge: These are questions that appear to be missing some very important clues and they look impossible to solve, but when you read the answer you realize how easy they actually are. They are called lateral challenge questions because they require a different kind of insight and open minded vision.
* The Whole Truth: The type of questions where you have to solve a small mystery or a murder. You have to apply your logic and insight and think from another angle to provide the correct answer.
- My Experience
I purchased the classic edition of Mind Trap from WHSmith for around £13. I am also fan of Trivial Pursuit, but I believe this game is amazing because it is focused on people's thinking and not on the level of knowledge itself. I love these types of questions and the process of figuring out the logic puzzles.
Some of the game questions are very smart and tricky, while others are unpredictable and impossible to figure out. I remember that the first time I played it took me 8 wrong questions to finally answer one right. I was not used to this way of thinking but then I understood what the game is about I found it quite addictive. However, it is still not easy to guess correctly as it needs the ability of the person to look the same thing from different angles. It might sound easy but it's not, it needs a lot of effort to get an insight and be as creative and open minded as you can.
The answers are always well explained and they give detailed information for the logic steps that you should follow to get the correct answer.
However, I believe that it is more fun to just read the cards with my friends and see who gets the correct answer. Most of the times we don't play it with the rules and it's very entertaining because we can make hypotheses, discuss the answers and laugh a lot. This way of playing brings fun, conversation and sharing of experiences without being competitive about who wins the game. The game is therefore ideal for parties, family gatherings and spending nights with friends.
The main problem of this game is that if you play it a few times and you are familiar with the answers then it's not that fun. Once you have played all the cards it gets repetitive and it's not durable enough.
- Packaging and Price
The game comes in a black and blue tin box with the tagline: "It will challenge the way you think . . . and see!". It contains 200 cards with questions, divided in two packs of 100 and a die. The playing cards are white, with a purple horizontal line above the question in the front and a green line right above the answer at the back side.
A notebook is also provided with drawings of the short game board in the front of each page and the long game in the back, to keep the scores. An instructions page is included in the box which explains briefly how the game is played and what are the rules.
The price of the game on amazon.co.uk ranges from £2.49 to £11.99. Four more versions of this game are also available in the market:
MindTrap II - The Challenge Continues: The second version that includes even more questions and additional categories.
The Ultimate MindTrap: Another sequel that was launched as the advanced version of MindTrap II
MindTrap - The Revised Edition: This game combines questions from the two first versions of the game.
MindTrap - 10th Anniversary Edition Tin: A version of the game with 500 questions celebrating 10 years since the game was launched.
I think this is a great fun team game that helps the players to improve their problem solving skills and consider different aspects of the same problem. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. However, if you are one of the people that always want to get the correct answer faster than everyone you might find this game annoying because it will need some personal effort before you start thinking widely and go beyond the obvious answer.
Thank you for reading!
This review is also on ciao under my name "sweetybi"
Summary: A great fun game with challenging questions
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