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Board Game Analysis and Re-design – Mentalogy

Continuation of board game analysis task…

Mentalogy

Type of game: Memory/Family Game

Age range: 6+

Number of players: 2+

Aim of the game: “Memorize cards as you play, the winner is the first player to reach the centre of the board.”

How to play:

  • Construct the spinner into the middle of the board
  • Shuffle the coloured cards in the separate desks and place 9 cards of each deck face down on their corresponding colour coded spaces
  • Shuffle the Brain Cards and place them face down where the spot is indicated on the board
  • Each player chooses a brain and places it on the start position
  • Spin the spinner each, the highest number goes first
  • Round 1 – Turn over the 9 green cards and start the timer, all players should memorize the cards
  • When the timer is up all cards are put back face down
  • Player 1 spins to find out the number of cards to name
  • Player 2 points to the cards player 1 must name and the timer starts
  • When the time is up player 1 moves the number of spaces of the cards they named correctly
  • The green cards are then placed face down again
  • Continuing clockwise each player takes one turn to spin and name the green cards nominated by the player to their left
  • Round 2 – same as above but both green and yellow cards are in play
  • Round 3 – same again but green, yellow and red are in play
  • Round 4 – same again but green, yellow, red and blue and are in play
  • The game continues until a player reaches the centre of the board
  • If a player lands on a Brain Card space they must take on the challenge
  • If you spin and land on a Brainstorming session, name as many cards as you can on the board and move that many spaces, if you name any cards wrong though you cannot move at all

Contents:

  • 1 gameboard
  • 45 picture cards
  • 45 small word cards
  • 45 number cards
  • 45 big word cards
  • 45 brain cards
  • 4 ‘Brain’ pieces
  • 1 spinner
  • 1 timer

How could it be re-designed?

mentalogy-re-design

For Mentalogy the major elements are

  • Timer
  • Memory cards, pictures, numbers, words

The minor elements are

  • Brain pieces
  • Brain cards
  • Brainstorming session spinner point
  • Move back/forward spaces

When re-designing this game I wanted to stick with the element of training your brain and developing skills as you play. I thought the major element of the memory cards could be changed into 4 skills, 2 stereotypical feminine skills, 2 stereotypical male skills.

These would be 4 rounds in the game which would help you get to the centre of the board.

Female trait 1 – Object location memory

To help “train” this part of the brain the task could consist of having 1 card shown to the player, this would be an image that they would have to memorize every part of against the timer. The image would then be taken away and they would have to pick from 4 images which one it matched. There could be different scenarios, for example a police line up, pick which one is the criminal from the memory card.

Female trait 2 – Empathy

To help “train” this part of the brain, the task could be that the player is shown a card with a picture of someone showing an emotion. Out of three options A, B and C they would have to decide which emotion the person is expressing, again against a timer.

Male trait 1 – Visuo-spatial ability

To help “train” this part of the brain, the task could be that the player is shown a card with an object on like the one sketched on my brainstorming sheet above. From 3 options they would have to choose which one the object was (one would be the correct object rotated, the other 2 would be different objects that may look similar), again against a timer.

Male trait 2 – Targeting accuracy

To help “train” this part of the brain, the task could be that the player gets a dart and has to throw it at a board to try and land on a number for the amount of spaces to move. The higher numbers would be smaller and in the centre and the lower numbers would be on the outside and be larger. Again this would be against a timer.

The different categories could also highlight which part of the brain the person is using to complete the tasks.

For younger children there could be simple tasks and then older children/adults the game could become more complicated.

Analysing this game: I really like this game, I think it’s a good way of incorporating different skills without forcing boys to be empathetic or girls to be logical. It helps the children develop a range of skills to become a more well-rounded individual.

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