SNAP Review – Mind Map

We are nerds. We love charts and graphs and other ways to give information.

But have you ever heard of a mind map?

I have heard of a mind map. It’s a way to kind of remember various things and how they connect to each other.

But it doesn’t look like your typical math-y chart. It’s just kind of blobs.

So, what if you took that, and made it into a real graph?

That’s a little confusing.

Well, that’s what we’re going to do in this game.


Mind Map is a party clue-giving game for 4-7 players, or up to 14 players on two different teams. It was designed by Gary Kim, Hope Hwang, and Yohan Goh, and published by Sorry We Are French and Funnyfox.

It takes about 20 minutes to play, and it’s best for ages 10 and up.


So Anitra, let’s talk about the art in Mind Map.

There are seven sets of player markers, all in different colors, plus a scoreboard. There’s a big stack of word cards, and a smaller stack of these criteria cards. There’s also a few simple number cards.

And the thing that really makes Mind Map stand out – this giant set of axes that fit together.

There’s the graph you were talking about. (There it is!)


Does that mean it’s the perfect time to talk about how to actually play this game?

I would think so.

Each round, put out a new set of word cards – one for each player – alongside these numbers on the vertical axis.

Then you’re going to randomly choose two criteria and put one on each axis, kind of like this. And put one more word card out here in the middle, where these two arrows would meet. This is your reference word.

Now, each player draws secretly from the number deck and finds out what their word is for the round.

Everyone places their big coordinate token somewhere in the graph created by these two axes. You can sort of jockey for position while you do this – mine is more! No, mine HAS to be more!

Once everyone is satisfied with their coordinate token, it’s time to guess everyone else’s word! Grab your Voting tiles – one for each of the numbered words – and place each one face-down on the marker you think is the best position for that word.

So, in this example, our criteria are “Easily found on a cruise ship” and “Requires an instruction manual”. Our reference card is “Rubber Duck”; my card is “Flyswatter”.

So I’ve got to put my token, somewhere on this graph, as it relates Rubber Duck to Flyswatter, with these two criteria.

And when I’m trying to figure out which token represents Flyswatter, I’m looking over here at something that probably requires a little bit more instruction than a rubber duckie, but is a lot less likely to be found on a cruise ship… I think.

Mind Map in play - words: Instant Camera, Food Processor, Shovel, Fly Swatter. Criteria: Requires an Instruction Manual, Easily Found on a Cruise Ship. Reference word: Rubber Duck

Once everyone has placed their votes, it’s time to reveal them and score for the round.

Each word you guessed correctly, you get one point. Each other player who guessed YOUR word correctly also gets you one point.

Clear out all the markers, word cards, and criteria cards, and set up for another round. After three rounds, the person with the highest score is obviously the one who is the best at mapping coordinates and matching them with other players!


So Anitra, what did we expect from Mind Map?

Just looking at the box here, I could tell this was something with making a chart or graph with weird measurements. I figured we were looking at something a little bit like Wavelength, which is a party word game where one person gives a clue based on the position on an odd measurement scale.

Honestly for me, I had no idea what to expect. Games like this are super hit or miss with our family. I was definitely on pins and needles when we got this one to the table.

These axes that you get are cool. But when we opened up the box there were so many pieces to sort out. Not really what I want to see in a party game.


Well, that was one surprise. What else was a surprise for you, Anitra?

Well in the end, this game actually reminded me a lot of So Clover (and you can find our review for it here).

Every round starts with silent contemplation, since every player is trying to decide where THEIR marker belongs to be the best clue for THEIR secret word. But then the energy ramps up as players sort of negotiate, in real time, for where to put their markers in comparison to everyone else’s. Whose word is the most likely to “require an instruction manual”?

In the scoring part of each round, it becomes fun to justify WHY you put your marker in a specific spot on the graph. And that can get loud!

We tried this with a few different groups, not just our family. And we noticed that there was always someone who had trouble with the concept of using the two axes to “rate” their word. It is kind of a mathematical concept that most of us don’t use in day to day life; and that makes it even harder if you’re playing around a table which means somebody has to be looking at this thing upside-down.

We also ended up with some situations where people had very similar concept words in a round and the criteria to rank them were just totally unhelpful. It did keep the game from being as fun as it could have been.

[Andrew] My surprise was really in the reference word. I think this was the hinge of the whole game. When you think about it, without a reference, people’s sense of scale can be completely different from each other. By using something already in the game – a card – it gives everyone something to actually base their assigned word on.

I really thought this was brilliant and without it, this game would have been a complete mess.


So do we recommend Mind Map?

I’m not sure. It takes up a lot more room than similar party-style word-guessing games, and it does take a lot of time to explain. So Mind Map is well suited for nerdy families like ours – it’s a little mathy, but everyone can play.

And we can have ridiculous arguments about how our placements are “right” – like when our youngest argued vehemently that spray paint did not require an instruction manual!

But because it’s tough to explain – and gets even harder if you try to explain the team variant that you need for a larger group (more than seven people) – I think this is best with a family or tight-knit group of five, six, or seven players; especially if they’re going to be ready to argue it out.

Alternately, Mind Map is a great ice breaker or team builder game. The argument part of this really provides insight into the way people think, and that can be super helpful if you’re trying to learn how people work.

We’re going to give Mind Map 3½ coordinates out of 5.

And that’s Mind Map in a SNAP!

Find it on Amazon or at your local game store.

The Family Gamers received a copy of Mind Map for this review from Hachette on behalf of Sorry We Are French.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?

Mind Map
  • Coordinates


Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 4-7 (more in team variant)
Playtime: 20 minutes