Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Designer: Thierry Denoual
*There are 4 different versions of Mindo available: Kitten, Puppy, Robot & Unicorn. All the versions play identical, but for this review we will be using the Unicorn version (because I have a 4yo daughter, so Unicorns are clearly superior)*
Your kids are growing up, you have so many great games on your shelves that they’re not ready to play yet, but how do you start training them so young? Or maybe you just want them to spend some time away from the screen and do something that makes them use their mind. Well… then Mindo might just be the game you are looking for!
Mindo (pronounced Mind-oh) is a puzzle game that provides 60 challenges in each box in multiple difficulty levels. Choose your kid’s favourite theme and see if they can master the challenges inside!
What’s in the box?
Inside the box (which is really sturdy and has a magnetic closing lid) are 2 square tiles, 7 double sided rectangular tiles and 6 challenge cards. It’s nicely compacted and everything fits perfectly. The tiles remind me of Kingdomino, another Blue Orange release and are slightly smaller but the same quality, which is really nice to see that they have the same quality as their regular games for older kids and adults. The cards are nice and thick as well, which is great for a kids game. Overall, everything about the game shows high quality. The art is cute and kid friendly, the colours are vibrant and the size is travel friendly.
So how do you play?
In Mindo, each challenged card has 2 sides: One is the puzzle, and the other side is the solution. There are 3 types of cards:
- Green cards are 3×3 and are the easiest
- Yellow cards are 4×4 and provide 2 clues
- Orange cards are 4×4 and provide 1 clue
- Red cards are 4×4 and provide no clues
When you have selected the card, take the square tile for 3×3 or the 2 square tiles for 4×4, and then the 7 double tiles and you’re gonna try to solve the puzzle by matching the colours on the card. But the challenge is that each tile is double sided and none repeat (so there is only one double purple, one half green half blue etc) and only one possible combination of tiles to make each challenge. So you sometimes put yourself in a corner, and go back. Once you have completed it, flip it over and check your work, and congratulate yourself.
Is it any good?
When I first saw my daughter open up Mindo and saw the tiles, I immediately thought “Mini kids Kingdomino” and in a way it’s true. This has a similar feel in the way you have to place the tiles to make them work, although you have a template and have to follow it, but for young kids it’s perfect. It teaches them how to use their brain and to problem solve (how do I make it work with the tiles I have?) and it scales really well. My own daughter can set this up by herself and play it (she’s almost 5) and can even do the harder puzzles without any help, although she needed some guidance with some orange and red ones but thats to be expected.
The awesome part about Mindo is that every version has different puzzles, so they’re not just a re-theme. So when you get the Unicorn version and the Kitten version, you can be sure that you’ll have some different puzzles if you wanted to get another version, you can expect it won’t be the same as the one you already have.
Overall, Mindo is a great step from little kids games that are simple dice rolling and random. It teaches kids logic and strategy and increases the difficulty as you go through the cards. My daughter loves it and will just get up and grab it, set it up and do a few puzzles happily and enjoys them. I even tried them myself, and while the green ones are easy I had to find myself re-doing a few of the more challenging ones. They’re a lot of fun, and I can’t recommend Mindo enough for parents with younger kids!
- Nice chunky tiles
- Different versions available depending on taste
- Helps train kids for more strategic games
*Thank you to Blue Orange Games for supplying a copy of Mindo for this review. You can find out more about them and there amazing games by clicking here*