Our current Explorables: Mensa Select Winners

Posted by Tiana901 {Family Gamer} | 27-Jun-18 | 13 comments

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This month’s explorables are Mensa Select award winners. Mensa Mind Games is an annual tabletop games competition open to games that are new to market within the last two years. Entries for 2018 consideration will have achieved national distribution between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2018. In 2018 the event will be hosted by the Denver Mensa chapter in April. To find out about competing games and the winners, visit mensamindgames.com or search Boardgaming.com, where all the winners from recent years have the Family: Mensa Select.

Each year, members of Mensa meet over one weekend to play and rate the year’s newest board games. The top five games earn Mensa Select® distinction and may display the Mensa Select seal on their packaging.

The seal indicates that a game is original, challenging and well designed. Indirectly, it indicates that a game is creative and original in concept, a good value for the price, easy to comprehend and play, and, above all, fun! Look for the Mensa Select seal when purchasing games.

Founded in 1990, American Mensa’s Mind Games® is a 40-plus-hour board-game-judging marathon that draws Mensans and their guests from across the country where they vote on the year’s five best new-to-market games to be awarded the coveted Mensa Select® seal.

Board games, card games and other types of table and party games are eligible; games may be designed for one or more players. Games are judged on aesthetics, instructions, originality, play appeal and play value. Judges fill out comment cards for each game. After the competition, each manufacturer receives the comment cards, which show the age and gender of players and include their ratings and comments regarding the game.

The competition is not open to games that are incomplete or not yet in production. Video, electronic, computer games or any games that take an inordinately long time to set up and play cannot be accommodated.

Once the 2018 awards are published, they will be added to Boardgaming.com so you can check them all out. I have included Clank! as one of the newer winners for you to explore, and although there have been quite a few plays logged, it will need some more reviews in order to be fully explored. You were all so amazingly helpful last month with Above and Below that I thought I would give you another challenge to help with.

Clank!
Dire Wolf Digital, Renegade Games Studio | Published: 2016

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Foxtrot Games, Renegade Games Studio | Published: 2015

Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Bézier Games | Published: 2014

Suburbia
Bézier Games | Published: 2012

Hive
Gen42 Games | Published: 2001

SET
Set Enterprises | Published: 1990

Have you played many of the Mensa Select games? Do you have any favorite Mensa Select games? Are there any awards that help you find new games?

Comments (13)

Gamer Avatar
10
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue

I like Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, although it hasn’t seen much play lately. I have the Suburbia App, but I would like to have the physical copy. I have not tried the others on this list.

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

@Ricardo Since we still need a couple more reviews for the game, I went to my FLGS last weekend and played a game so I could help out with the reviews. I think we still need one more to make it fully explorable, so hopefully there’s someone else who can add a review.

Gamer Avatar
9
Mask of Agamemnon
Paladin
The Gold Heart
Cooperative Game Explorer

Nice games, should now have someone who has or played the Clank! game more often do one more review to compliment the exploration of this board game.

New strategies would be cool so I did not get too much like the last time I played.

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

@Stargazer I agree that there seem to be a lot of awards, much like all the reviews out there on the internet, of everything. I sometimes pay attention to awards, if they align with my likes or I understand how they align and how they are different. The Mensa Select list caught my eye since it seems to be based on how much a group of people liked playing it, although not necessarily a representative group of any other demographic, and also because Set is one of my favorite games and it made the list, so I have some overlap. The other caveat is that games have to be entered, so their competition doesn’t include all games that were published. There are a few others I like that made the list, (including Azul and Photosynthesis) so I thought it might help me find another game I would like.

I also pay attention to the Speil des Jarles and which game won it, because many of those games seem to have staying power and they sell over the years, so they must be doing something right.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel

It’s funny, I’ve only played two games off this list, and at this point can’t get either to the table anymore. Must admit I never pay any attention to game awards. As a matter of fact, haven’t even heard of the Mensa award. Sometimes there seems like there are just too many awards. Great theme for the Explorables though!

As I’ve said many times, I’m not a fan of Deck-Builders but I must admit that Clank! intrigues me. I’d like to give Clank! a try or two.

Gamer Avatar
7
I'm a Real Person
Smash Up Fan
I play yellow
Comic Book Fan

I’ve never played regular Clank! But I’ve heard that it’s a strong game, especially with the 2 expansions. Clank! In! Space! Is a little too long for what it is in my opinion, but still a lot of fun. I’ve heard Clank! Has a much better game length but needs expansions for replay ability.

Gamer Avatar
8
I play purple
Explorer - Level 6
Vanguard
Chief Inspector

Nice to have more explorables!!

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

Nick, indeed it would.

Gamer Avatar
7
The Gold Heart
Grand Master Grader
Knight-errant

Tiana, your To Be Read pile sounds like my To Be Read pile.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were more hours in the day? XD

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

@NickJ I would say that you’ve got about a month to find a game to join or get a copy, but I saw you talk about your To Be Played pile, and it sounds like my To Be Read pile, so I won’t even go there. I have heard good things about the game and hope to give it a try myself. According to one person who played it, the mechanic of “clank” or making noise makes it quite fun.

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

Set is one of my favorite games. The basis of looking for sets of cards based on whether characteristics of the cards are all the same or all different gives your brain a workout, but the game plays in about 15 minutes. Since it’s a card game it is incredibly portable and just requires enough space to lay out 12-15 cards. I think it’s a game you will either love or hate and if you play it once you will know if its for you or not. Just the fact that it’s over 20 years old tells you that it appeals to a lot of people. There are also ways to play it online so you can see how it plays.

Gamer Avatar
7
The Gold Heart
Grand Master Grader
Knight-errant

I’d love to rise to the occasion to add a review for Clank!, but hadn’t even heard of it before. All of the games listed this time look really interesting, and I’ll keep an eye out for them in the future.

Gamer Avatar
6
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 6

The 2018 Winners are now on the Mensa web site and I am pleased to say 4 out of the 5 winners are already on Boardgaming.com.
Azul
Ex Libris
Photosynthesis
Raiders of the North Sea
Constellations: The Game of Stargazing and the Night Sky (not on the site yet)

I have updated the 2018 winners with the Mensa Select Family, so have fun checking them out too!

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