Mensa Picks Its Mind Games Winners for 2012!

Geek Culture

GoldMensaSelectSealGoldMensaSelectSealLast weekend, Mensa members and others gathered for the annual Mensa Mind Games, held this year in Herndon, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. Mensa Mind Games is an intense weekend of playing board and card games. Game publishers submit games to be evaluated on criteria such as the rules, replayability, and general fun. Anyone at the weekend can play the games and send feedback to the publishers. But only Mensa members can then vote for their top choices of games overall. The top five receive the coveted Mensa Select seal. Here are the winners for this year!


iota. Image: Iota the Game

A cross between Set and Qwirkle, Iota combines a common playing area and turn taking with finding attributes in common (or not in common) on the cards. Build lines of cards that have the same number of attributes in common, and keep score to see who wins!


Snake Oil. Image: Jeff Ochs

Snake Oil
Sell two-word products to strange customers in this unusual selling game. Get ready to use your creativity to think of ways to convince the buyers to buy your invented products!

Mine ShiftMine Shift

Mine Shift. Image: Mindware

Mine Shift
This two player game pits you against your opponent to see who can make it out of the mine first. Shift walls, place gems, and out think the other miner.


Coerceo. Image: Coerceo

Outwit and outstrategize your opponent as you capture their pieces. There are only a few basic rules to this game, which can be learned quickly. But the board shrinks as you play, so plan your moves carefully.

Tetris LinkTetris Link

Tetris Link. Image: Tetris

Tetris Link
This game will be familiar to most people, but it has been made multiplayer, and non-electronic! Drop Tetriminoes into the grid, linking up your colored shapes to score points and block opponents’ potential moves. But don’t leave gaps in the tower grid, because points will be deducted. As with the familiar version of Tetris, the game ends when the tower is full.

So check out these new games and let us know what you think! Do you agree with the judges, that the games are well done and have good replayability?

I’ve been to Mind Games a couple of times, and it’s always an intense but amazing weekend. I highly recommend it to game players everywhere. You don’t necessarily have to be a Mensa member to participate, though Mensa does reserve the right to limit non-member registration, if there isn’t room.

Check out my run down of the winners of past Mensa Mind Games, from 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The 2013 Mensa Mind Games will be held April 19-21 at the St. Louis Airport Marriott in St. Louis, Missouri.

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