From the iconic map design to its succinct and distinctly British cautionary phrase the London Underground is instantly recognizable. Mind the Gap is a game about negotiating the subterranean network beneath London, hopefully with more navigational success than my first foray on “The Tube”. Oyster cards at the ready then!
The object of Mind The Gap is to be the first to play all their cards. This is accomplished by matching the colour of the Tube line on your station cards to the previously played card while frustrating the designs of your rivals and speeding your own progress using the various special cards. Sound familiar? Is it better than Uno?
Up to eight Players start with a hand of eight cards, most of which represent a real-world Tube station along with its corresponding lines and colours. Some station cards feature a single colour line and larger intersections may feature several giving more possibilities for card play as you station hop. The special cards include the dreaded engineering works which allows you to block a colour until play comes back round to you. A note of caution, you can easily find yourself marooned at Marble Arch if you don’t use this card carefully. When you can’t play you are forced to draw a card taking you one step further from your destination. The all change card can be a real game-changer when it is deployed at just the right moment accompanied by diabolical laughter.
The game suggests itself as suitable for ages six and up, however with a little support my four-year-old nephew really enjoyed this, though of course, he didn’t make the best use of the special cards. The theming is strong with the cards mirroring Harry Beck’s iconic graphic design for the London Underground, it’s great that the cards do also have text for the line names to avoid colour confusion. The cards are nice and glossy, however, they may be a little small for some. The game comes in a smart little tin complete with cards detailing Tube history and trivia. Mind the Gap requires a little more thought and therefore generates more interest than Uno, not all cards are created equal, some lines are simply harder to travel along with less connections. Judicious use of those special cards is vital.
Mind The Gap can be taught in seconds and is great option for a quick game with kids or a fun warm-up on game nights. The theme and design ads depth to a simple premise and I found it conjured up cosy memories of travelling on the tube. All change, please…
Mind the Gap can be purchased on Amazon.