SNAP Review – Mind Up!

Anitra, I’m have a number, and it’s between 1 and 60. But it’s not too high… it’s not too low… And I need whatever you to play to be lower than whatever the viewers might have.

[Anitra] I don’t think that’s how this mind reading stuff is supposed to work.

[Andrew] Okay, how about just, don’t mess up my plan with whatever card you play.

[Anitra] Well, I’m going to play this 25.

[Andrew] *Groans* (shows a 28)

[Anitra] That’s how it goes, sometimes. This is a SNAP review for Mind Up!


Mind Up! is a card game for 3-6 players, by Maxime Rambourg and published by Pandasaurus Games. The box says it’s for ages 8 and up and takes about 20 minutes to play.


Let’s talk about the art in Mind Up!

The art here, such as it is, was illustrated by Christine Alcouffe. This is another game that’s basically just numbers on colorful cards. Each number 1-60 appears once in the deck, distributed among five colors.

There is subtle patterning in the background of all the cards, repeated over in the corner by the number itself. These really help with any color-blind issues.

There are also six sets of these “scoring” cards. Each set has a unique symbol on the back, so it’s easy to find the five cards that make a set.

There’s some optional Objective cards. These use the same patterns and symbols as are on the number cards, and you don’t actually need text to tell what the objective is.


Speaking of the objective, what is the objective of Mind Up? How do we play this game?

The goal is to collect cards in a way that earns you the most points.

Simple, right?


Before each round, one player shuffles up their five scoring cards and lays them out in a row. All the other players copy this order with their own scoring cards.

Mind Up! scoring cards - with values 1-5
So, in this example, we have – 1, 5, 2, 3, 4.

For the first round, put out number cards into the center of the table – as many cards as there are players. Put them in order by number, smallest to largest.

Then deal out seven cards to each player.

Every player now secretly chooses a card from their hand, to reveal simultaneously.

Now, re-arrange the revealed cards in numerical order, below the cards that were already on the table. Then each player receives the number card that is positioned above the card they played in the row.

Place the received card in the first “slot” in your scoring row. In the future, every card that matches this color will go into the same column of the row, and each new color will go in the next open spot to the right.

Everyone selects another card from their hand to play, and determine which card on the table they’ll gather.

Keep revealing and collecting cards until everyone has a single card left in their hands. This card, you’re going to add directly to your scoring column.

Now it’s time to score this round!

Take a look at each of your columns of cards. The scoring card at the top of the column shows you how many points each card is worth.

Mind Up! scoring example: 1 card in column 1, 3 cards in column 5, 1 each in columns 2, 3, 4.
In the green column, each card is worth 5 points, and I have 3 cards here. So this column is worth 15 points.

After you’ve added up all your columns, and added any bonuses (they’re in yellow), subtracted penalties (they’re in red), gather up all your scored cards back into your hand, and draw one more card from the deck. This will be your hand for the next round.

Have a player randomly lay out all the scoring cards again – with everyone following, again; and start the next round.

At the end of the second round, gather up your scored cards and draw ANOTHER card into your hand before shuffling up the scoring cards again and starting the third round.

After three rounds, the game ends. Who scored the most points?

Like we said in the Art section, there are also Objective cards. If you’d like a little more challenge in your game, you can reveal a different Objective every round, and treat it as another potential bonus or penalty when calculating the scores for that round.


So Anitra, what did we expect from Mind Up! ?

There are a lot of games out there with “mind” in the name. So, I wondered if this would be a little like the modern classic The Mind where you’re trying to lay out cards in order without communicating… or like a game we recently reviewed, Mind Map, which is actually a party word game… or maybe it would be something else entirely.

But it looked pretty simple. It’s just numbers on cards!

[Andrew] Like you said, it looks simple. Putting everything you said together, trick taking games are pretty popular these days, we’ve just reviewed a game with Mind in the title like you said, so my brain was all over the place with this one. You can see cards laid out on the front, some bonus looking things, I didn’t really know, to be honest. I thought it might be some kind of abstract party game, because that’s a different twist? I don’t know – since you need at least three players to play this one. But if you flip it over and look at the back of the box, it will mostly set you straight.


And yet, there were some surprises.

So one of the big things that surprised me about this game is that it’s really not a hard game to play, but it’s much harder to explain than I expected. I feel like I understand the rules really well and it’s still hard for me to tell you how to play, until you’ve played it.

But the more you play this game, the more you’ll become aware of layers of strategy. It’s really great to grab cards with bonuses and maybe you’ll grab a lot of the same color for a really high score… but then, that is going to affect how you play in later rounds, because that becomes your hand!

It also surprised me just how much everyone in our family got into this game. It’s just numbers on cards! But every turn, you know which cards you really want and which ones you really DON’T want, so there’s plenty of celebrating and wailing and bickering… especially as we get farther into the game.

Having someone randomly decide the scoring line each round makes for a little more variety. You can’t just stick to the same strategy every time…

And I really like that about this game. Every round you have to readjust what you’re doing to try to capitalize on getting whatever suit into the four or five slot on your player board. And those cards might be different for other people – so you could go from a super cutthroat round to a relatively laid back one really quickly. Not even different games, just different rounds!

This game reminded me a little bit of For Sale with the way you bid on the cards you just played – but it’s definitely simpler since you aren’t going from money to property and back to money again. I kind of like this game, and I feel like it’s a prologue to an evergreen classic, which is For Sale.


We recommend Mind Up! for families. It’s fast and it will pull your whole family in. But it’s not going to be a great fit with kids younger than about 8, because there’s a lot of different skills involved: number sequencing, multiplying, and predicting what your opponents are going to play.

We think it’s really great with older kids, or with grandma and grandpa.

We’re going to give Mind Up! 4 numbers out of 5.

And that’s Mind Up! in a SNAP.

Find Mind Up! on Amazon, direct from Pandasaurus Games, or at your local game store.

Mind Up! card game

The Family Gamers received a copy of Mind Up! from Pandasaurus Games for this review.

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 Up!
  • Numbers


Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 3-6
Playtime: 20 minutes