'Hive Mind' Impressions: 'Magic: The Gathering' Creator's Party Game Is Fun For All

Hive-mind-game
Hive Mind is fun for all ages Calliope Games

Tsuro publisher Calliope Games is at the 2017 Toy Fair showing off its new line of board games, and one of the company’s latest offerings is Richard Garfield’s Hive Mind. Garfield is a legend in the board game scene, having made a little game called Magic: The Gathering. How is Garfield’s foray into party games? It’s a good time for all involved.

Hive-mind-game
Hive Mind is fun for all ages Photo: Calliope Games

Calliope Games is all about creating simple, but fun board games for anyone who wants to play, and Hive Mind is just that. Playing with three or more players, a prompt is given from a card, and players are tasked with writing down answers to questions filling in blanks, whichever the prompt says to do. Once everyone is done writing, players go around the room comparing what was written. The more people that give a similar answer, the more points are awarded.

For example, one prompt was “Write three things you would find in a desert.” After recording our answers, we compared results. Because everyone answered with “sand,” that entry was worth its maximum value. On the other hand, I wrote down “lizards.” Because I was the only person who wrote that, I only gained one point.

Alongside the word comparing, there is also a board with a beehive on it. The hive has six levels, as well as a track for a Queen Bee space to move around on. Each player has a wooden bee in the hive, and must fight to stay in the hive to win.

Once all the words written by the group have been tallied, players count up their score for the round. Depending on what space the Queen Bee is on, different rules come into effect, but generally the person or persons with the lowest score will drop down a level in the beehive. Once the first player drops out of the hive, the game is over and everyone else is the winner.

Hive Mind was a fun, quick and easy to learn game, which is everything you want in a party game. It would probably be even more fun playing with a group of friends, as opposed to playing on a convention show floor with people I have never met before. The questions are also easy enough that players of any age can join in, so long as everyone playing knows how to write. A game with four players took about 20 minutes total, but the more players there are, the longer the game can become.

Hive Mind is out now, and is available directly from Calliope Games or a number of other retailers.

So what do you think? Are you interested in trying a new game from Richard Garfield?

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