Judging Instructions

How Does Mind Games Work?

We know you’re dying to get your hands on a set of dice, but before you do, a quick reminder about the player-judge expectations at Mind Games:

  • Play your list of 30 games to conclusion at least once between Thursday and Sunday morning at 5 a.m.
  • Submit a completed ballot before 7 a.m. Sunday morning. (Members only)
  • Complete and submit a comment card for each game you play, by using either a print or online comment card.

Tools of the Trade

  • Playlists/Scoresheets (blue and yellow): Each scoresheet corresponds to a unique player-judge and contains the 30 games each judge has been charged with evaluating, as well as the ballot necessary to nominate potential Mensa Select® Winners.
  • Ballots: Your ballot – the lower portion of the blue playlist/scoresheet – must be returned to the ballot box by 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
  • Voting Stickers: Every judge will receive a sheet of individualized QR code stickers. These stickers correspond with your blue scoresheet and will allow you to vote for your Mensa Select games. Please do not exchange stickers with anyone, as you are only allowed to vote for games on your blue scoresheet.
  • Games Directory: This booklet contains a listing of every game, including the suggested number of players, age ranges and pricing, and a fill-in/follow-along grid for the Games Giveaway.
  • Comment Cards: Comment cards are available in the game room. In addition to the five Mensa Select winners, there is a "recommended for play" category. The completed cards are sent to the game manufacturers following the event. These comment cards are important to the game manufacturers, so please write legibly and only write on the front of the comment cards. Submit your comment cards online by scanning the QR code printed on the card, back of your badge or visiting mensamindgames.com/comments.

Casting Your Ballot

  1. For voting judges, play the 30 games on your blue playlist/scoresheet and evaluate each based on aesthetics (look, feel, style), originality (structure, concept, creativity), play value (repeatability, longevity, price), play appeal (enjoyment, excitement, challenge) and instructions (clarity, completeness, brevity). You may want to play some games more than once but resist that temptation until you’re certain you’ll complete your list. Play each of your 30 games to completion at least once.
  2. Use the voting stickers to indicate on the ballot portion of the blue playlist your top seven games in order of preference. Detach the ballot and deposit it into the ballot box (located in the gaming area). Ballots must be returned to the ballot box before 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
  3. The yellow playlist(s) include the remaining games you can play but are not eligible to vote for.

General Mind Games Tips

  • When it comes to voting for Mensa Select games, you’re expected to vote for the games you would buy for yourself or your friends. The Mensa Select designation is intended to show that intelligent people enjoy playing the game.
  • Scoring is not a group effort. Do not take away the chance for each judge to share their unique feedback.
  • Judge the games as they are described in the printed rules. If you find a better way to play a game, tell the manufacturer on the comment card.
  • Even if a game is not the type you would normally play (e.g., trivia games, solitaire games, or children's games), use the scoring categories to rate the merits of the game. Judge a game for children in the context of considering buying it for a child you know.
  • If you look at the left side of your blue playlist/scoresheet, your games are listed alphabetically in a compact, easy-to-compare layout. If you align your card with another player’s, you’ll easily see which games you have in common.
  • Mind Games veterans will tell you that the best way to attack your list is to start with the games that take the most players. Another plan of attack is to go for the games that will require the most time. These games are more difficult to tackle near the end of the event, as everyone is running out of steam or has already played them. It's best to get them out of the way early. It also gives you the opportunity to meet many new people, some of whom could become friends for life!
  • Submit a completed comment card (available in the gaming area) for every game you play, each time you play it. Deposit completed comment cards in the appropriate slot of the blue mail sorter located in the gaming area. All players (members and nonmembers) should fill out comment cards. Comments should be specific, constructive, helpful, and appropriate. Make sure to check off if you would or would not recommend a game. 
  • Take this opportunity to join in the big party games whenever you have the chance; you may not be able to get that many people together again later.