FTW Staff Picks - Braintopia
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Captain Macaque
Player Size: 2 to 6 Players
Game Length: 20 minutes
For fans of: Ghost Blitz, Spot It
Once upon a time, there was a popular video game on the Nintendo DS called Brain Age, which calculated the age of your brain based off of your performance in various exercises. Since that time, many have attempted to replicate its success in the video game medium. In Braintopia, Asmodee have found a way to turn these exercises into fast-paced competition.
There are 8 different challenge types in Braintopia which test your deduction, memory, reasoning and coordination. None of the challenges are particularly difficult on their own, but the trick is it's a race. The first person to slap the card, will be allowed to provide a solution. If they're correct they keep the challenge card. If they're incorrect, they cannot participate in the next challenge. Whenever a player wins a second card of the same challenge type, they receive a brain piece. The first to 4 brain pieces wins the game.
The overall gameplay is reminiscent of something fast-paced like Ghost Blitz and Spot It. But the consistent expectation of those games is what keeps them simple. Adding many diverse challenges keeps you switching between the different sections of your brain to find solutions. The texture cards included with the game are really cool, and more challenging than they appear.
Braintopia is a thinker. A very quick thinker. As someone who loves Ghost Blitz but has reached unbeatable status (seriously, try me - you won't win), Braintopia fills that void and keeps things fresh. It's a new release, and we certainly didn't have much expectations for it, but Braintopia has quickly found its way into our hearts (and brains).