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- The Mensa Connections board game is an extraordinary game to play. It combines simplicity (you can master the rules in 5 minutes) with the chance to apply real strategic thinking.
- It is a beutiful game to look at, and a beutiful game to play. Mensa Connections will have you completely addicted after the first game, and thereafter you will never, never get bored with playing it over and over again!
- The game is for 1-4 players and we recommend an age of 10 and up.
- Time to play will be around 45 minutes
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Mensa, the international IQ society has teamed up with the world's number one games designer, Reiner Knizia, to produce this unique board game. However, don't think that you need to be a member of Mensa to play - this is a game for everyone to enjoy, regardless of what you think your IQ may be. The Mensa Connections board game is an extraordinary game to play. It combines simplicity (you can master the rules in 5 minutes) with the chance to apply real strategic thinking. It is a beautiful game to look at and to play. Mensa Connections will have you completely addicted after the first game and thereafter you will never get bored with playing it over and over again! The game is for 1-4 players, ages 10 and over, and the average game play time is around 45 minutes.
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Keeping score with little cubes of coloured wood on smooth cardboard sheets, could do with a redesign. This is slow, messy and prone to loss of position if the sheets are knocked. This can happen with younger players, completely ruining a good game.
A score board similar to pegs in MasterMind would be better.
The board holds dual hexagonal tiles but again with only gravity to keep them in place. The recessed positions similar to Deluxe Scrabble would be MUCH better.
A good game, however. The Mark II version, (if these points are noted), should be MUCH better.
The game designer (Reizer Knizia) is famous for his deceptively simple games - usually based around colours and numbers and sporting rules that are so simple that anyone can get playing within minutes and yet so deep and carefully applied that the more you play the more possibilities for strategies or tactics there are.We have quite a few of his games, but this is the pinnacle of our Knizia experience. Oh yes, and we think that it's important to mention that the rules aren't vague or ambiguous in so far as you are left wondering how to play correctly - it is more accurate to say that they can be applied simply to form complex variety.
Playing it? Easy! A hexagonal board made up of smaller hexagons, plastic pieces like domino pieces but made of two hexagons connected along one edge, with each hexagon on the playing piece containing a coloured symbol. The symbols are yellow suns, blue stars, purple rings, green circles and red starbursts. You may place your piece ANYWHERE yoiu like on the board - there is no need to place pieces so that they connect with others on the board, or even placing pieces so that coloured symbols connect with like.
So, you score with a separate scoring track for each of the coloured symbols. Win points by connecting symbols on the board in a line. If you add a piece so that only two red starbursts connect you get a point. But drop one on the end of an already-existing line for many more points. As simple as that.
BUT - the winner of the game is the person who has the highest of all players' lowest scores. Get that? Let me explain it another way. I'm playing ben and Bob. My lowest score at the end of the game (out of all my scoring tracks) is 9. Ben's lowest score is 10. Bob's lowest score is 6. Ben wins. SO what you are trying to do is to advance all of your scorines for each coloured symbol, but keeping them together as you go. Imagine having very high scores in all of your colours - your lowest score out of all is still a very high score! But should you leave one colour languishing behind and zoom ahead with other colours, well, that's no good. Your one colour with the very low score will probably lose you the game.
This game is absolutely wonderful. It is beautiful, a joy to play, highly interactive, mentally challenging and highly, highly addictive. It is not overly competitive so as to result in arguments and it doesn't take so long to play that, should you be on a losing streak, you don't want to keep having a stab at revenge! We were averaging about 15 minutes per game last night with two of us. You can play it with 2, 3 or 4 players and there are even rules for a solo version.
If you have ANY love of games get hold of this as soon as possible.
But while the manufacturing quality is very good, there are things that could have been done better.
Specifically, the scoring cards with their multiple tokens are very vulnerable to being accidentally jogged, destroying the record of that player's score; and the small score cubes could get lost quite easily. Also, like a low-cost Scrabble board, the board itself can be jogged and the game layout destroyed.
Maybe this is the reason it's set at a minimum age of ten, since younger kids could certainly enjoy playing it, but might have difficulty remembering to avoid joggling the score cards & board.
A version (maybe a deluxe version) with embossed board and pieces would make it less vulnerable to this, and would also make it possible for blind players to enjoy this excellent game.
It can be played on many levels, and you don't in any way need to be a genius to play it well. A couple of games and you will be well on your way to becoming an expert.
We liked the way that the rules had been written-there seemed little ambiguity.
All in all a terrific bit of entertainment.
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