The 2012 Mensa Mind Games competition took place recently in Arlington, Texas, and five games were honored with the Mensa Select seal. Game companies submitted 68 games for consideration; members of American Mensa played the games and judged them on originality, play appeal, play value, aesthetics and instructions.
The five games to win the 2012 Mensa Select seal are:
Coerceo (2 players, ages 9 and up, designer not credited, published by Coerceo): In this abstract strategy game, players work to enclose and eliminate their opponent's pieces. The board, made up of 19 tiles, gets smaller as the game progresses.
Iota (2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, designed by Gene Mackles, self-published): In this card game, players try to add cards to the table with three attributes (color, shape and number) which are either all the same or all different.
Mine Shift (2 players, ages 8 and up, designed by John Forte, Jr., published by MindWare): There are just three basic moves in this game: move a jewel, rotate a tile, or shift the board. The goal is to navigate past the wants to get to the other side.
Snake Oil (4 to 9 players, ages 13 and up, designed by Jeff Ochs, published by Snake Oil): In this game, players try to sell each other outrageous inventions. One player draws a customer card and announces it. The others, all inventors, quickly combine two purple word cards from their hand to form a product to sell to the customer. The customer chooses his favorite.
Tetris Link (2 to 4 players, ages 6 and up, designer not credited, published by Techno Source): Based on the enduringly popular videogame Tetris, players drop blocks into a grid, trying to link same-colored Tetriminos while blocking opponents from doing the same. Points are deducted for leaving empty spaces in the tower grid.
"Mensa Select games are fun, challenging games," said Greg Webster, chief judge of this year's Mind Games event, in a press release. "You don't have to be a genius to enjoy this year's Mensa Select winners, but be prepared to have your mind teased while being entertained in the process."
American Mensa is an organization for people of IQs in the top two percent. The Mensa Select game awards were started in 1990.