Random Minds review

Definitely not family friendly!

‘Filthy Minds’ might have been a more suitable name than ‘Random Minds’ for this…

The setup of a standard game. Chopsticks not required.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Cards Against Humanity — it’s become fairly popular over the past few years. If you haven’t, it’s an adult card game in which you answer questions by playing funny and/or inappropriate cards to score points and defeat your rivals!  Random Minds is a game that uses these core mechanics but adds its own twist. Whilst it has its successes, it (and indeed other adult card games) will always be likened to the original whether favourably or otherwise. Thankfully in this case, there are more favourable aspects than unfavourable ones.

Much like its inspiration, Random Minds is a game in which you play cards to amuse (or perhaps shock) the judge to win points.  The difference here is that the cards fall under three different categories: People, Action and Object. In its most basic form, the game has one of these categories in the middle for the judge to flip over to act as the basis for the round. The other players need to play one (or more) of the cards from the other two categories from their hands to create a hilarious story.  Our initial game had People in the middle whilst the rest of us played Objects and Actions surrounding that person, resulting in some rather funny combinations.

The game comes with a number of additional rule sets, such as Double Up (two categories in the middle and one in hand) and Story Mode (take it in turns to play another card to continue the story). We particularly enjoyed Story Mode as our chain of items, celebrities, and activities became more and more absurd over time. It also includes special cards of sorts, which force other players to act or sound out their combination for additional hilarity, as well as ones which allow you to mess with other people’s stories. I liked these aspects of Random Minds, as they make it stand out from the crowd, but I can imagine acting out some of these stories may not be to everyone’s taste! I for one don’t think I’d want to act out Arnold Schwarzenegger coercing Obama into eating his own children. Some of the special cards aren’t explained as well as they could be, leading to a few moments of confusion when playing, but these cards only cropped up occasionally.

Shia Labeouf in The Discard Pile! That’s a movie I’d see!

Now, I feel there is something of a downside to these rules. I suspect that one of the reasons for Cards Against Humanity’s success is down to its simplicity, especially considering this sort of game is likely often played in combination with alcohol.  It’s a very easy game to understand and you can be relatively successful simply by playing the most vulgar card you have. Once you start introducing more rules, this simplicity is lost. Random Minds is a lot of fun, but its additional rules add a level of complexity that may not be to everyone’s tastes. Still, if you are in the market for something similar to Cards Against Humanity, but with greater depth, then this fits that bill well.

The cards are good quality, with a number of funny and vulgar statements on them (even the People cards manage to get some amusing comments). Just like its inspiration, some cards are considerably funnier than others, meaning you can end up in a situation where nothing will work in combination. The rules do let you play as many cards as you like (assuming you can make a story from them) but it can feel a bit disappointing to have no way to create a good answer. At the same time, though, the multiple categories and ability to play as many cards as you want does give you a lot more creative freedom than alternative games.

Some cards are even blank, which leaves room for you to create your own cards. It might have been fun if some of the Object cards had a picture of the object in question rather than a description, allowing for even more creative freedom (which is what this game seems to be going for).  The blank cards allow for this to be done yourself, but having it as part of the main game would have been fun.

As a game, Random Minds is a fun alternative to the various adult-themed card games around right now. If you want something where you can show a bit more creativity than rival games, this is something you might want to take a look at. It’s well thought out, and though it may be a little on the complicated side if you’re planning on consuming large amounts of alcohol whilst playing, it works well once the rules are embedded with the players. For the price, you could do a lot worse.

Random Minds
The results of our Story Mode game. I advise you don’t look too closely…
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