Wolfgang Warsch


Oliver Freudenreich



Brief description

The Mind is a cooperative game that tests the coordination among players. The objective is to arrange a certain number of cards in ascending order without any form of communication. As the game progresses, the number of cards to be ordered increases.

The Mind was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres awards in 2018 and won the As d’Or award for the best game in France.

Recommended ages

From 8 years old


2-4 players


100 numbered cards from 1 to 100
12 level cards (from 1 to 12)
5 life cards
3 help cards (with a ninja star)



The cards are separated by types. The level cards are placed in order from lowest to highest in a face-up stack, indicating the level we are playing and starting with 1.

Place 2 life cards and one help card in the center of the table, and keep the others for when they are needed.

Shuffle the cards from 1 to 100.

Purpose of the game

The purpose of the game is to advance through levels by placing all the cards that players have in their hands on the table, ordered from smallest to largest. The only condition is to do it without any type of communication: you cannot talk, make signals, show cards to other players, count aloud, give instructions…


At level 1, players receive one card. At level 2, two; at level 3, three; and so on.

In The Mind, there are no turns, and once the start of the round is agreed upon, each player must decide when to place a card on the table. They will do it sooner or later depending on whether the number on the card is lower or higher, or depending on the last card played. A player cannot play two cards at the same time. First, they must place one card and then the other, even if the numbers are consecutive or very close together.

If all the cards are placed in the correct order, you move on to the next level. The played cards are collected and reshuffled with the rest of the numbered cards.

Conversely, if at any point a card is placed on the table that is higher than one or some of the cards still in the players’ hands, the turn ends and a life is lost.

Special cards

There are two types of special cards: life cards and help cards. At the start of the game, there are two lives and one help card. Some levels allow the addition of more life or help cards (as indicated by the level card itself).

The life cards indicate the number of lives available. When all are lost, the game is over.

Help cards can only be played if all players unanimously agree. Playing a help card allows each player to discard their lowest card.

More than just a game

The Mind is a very unique card game. In some tutorial videos that teach how to play it, it is considered ‘an unclassifiable game’ or even ‘a social experiment’.

You can play The Mind as a board game by applying all these rules and have a lot of fun, or you can use its mechanics to experiment with team dynamics and leadership. In this case, we recommend setting aside the life and help cards, increasing the number of players beyond 4, and playing as many rounds as necessary to try to surpass the maximum number of levels.

After a series of rounds, the sensations and personal and collective experiences identified can be shared and discussed. Some of the potentialities of The Mind in this regard are:

  • It requires close collaboration among team members to coordinate their actions without any form of communication.
  • It promotes trust, both in oneself and in one’s own intuitions, and towards the rest of the team members.
  • It requires each person to individually manage impatience, haste, the fear of making mistakes… and to adapt their perception of the passage of time to what can be collectively established.
  • It puts players under pressure, simulating work situations where decisions must be made under stress.
  • It fosters empathy and promotes a deeper understanding of colleagues and their ways of thinking and acting.
  • It offers a fun and unique experience that allows team members to relax and have fun together in a non-work context.

Moreover, playing The Mind raises awareness of the existence and importance of collaborative or shared leadership among all members of the same team. In The Mind, it is practically impossible for someone to take on the role of leader, and all team members must be able to evolve individually until they find a point of collective understanding that allows them to overcome the challenges posed by the game.

To go further

For those who want to delve deeper, two expansions of the game have been released:

The Mind Extrem. In this version, there are two sets of 50 cards, one blue and the other red, with numbers from 1 to 50. During the game, two piles of played cards are created: one with the blue cards that must be sorted from lowest to highest, and a second pile where the red cards will be sorted from highest to lowest. Each player receives a card or cards from each pile and must decide when to play to one pile or the other.

The Mind Soulmates. This version retains the mechanic of arranging cards in ascending order without any communication between players, but it introduces the figure of the seer, a participant who has no cards to play but has the ability to see some cards and give clues to the other players.

+ information on where to buy it.

Physical game stores / online game stores