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HIVE MIND A Calliope Games published Family Quiz Game designed by Richard Garfield

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HIVE MIND is a multi-player family game which has its roots in a very old Avalon Hill Game "Facts in Five" (1967) an even older version also called "Facts in Five" (1964) by Advanced Ideas and later 3M Games, and its recent history includes the 1998 Wizards of the Coast game called "What Were You Thinking" and the Pegasus Spiel, Mattel, Out of the Box produced "Apples to Apples".  It is a game of Questions and no answers, by which I mean it provides the Questions and a Timer and the players create the Answers and then decide by comparison how many points are scored. It is a game where the answers do not have to be correct, the spelling and the plurality do not have to be right either, and equally comparable answers are acceptable but not if they are way off topic. The Calliope Games HIVE MIND was Kickstarted. 

So why HIVE MIND when you have all the other previous games of the same genre ?
The answer to my question is in the theme and mechanic of that theme. In clockwise turns the players roll the die, move the Queen Bee and ask a question (either from a drawn card or they can make up their own question). Then all players, using the paper and pencils provided, write down as many* answers to the question as they can within the time limit determined by the egg-timer device which is also supplied with the game. The player who asked the question also answers it in the same way. All players score one point for every answer they write and another point for every one of their answers that has also been written down by the other players, thus if three people write the same answer they score 3 points each, 1 for the answer and 1+1 for the other players duplicating their answer.

*Some questions require multiple answers, such as Name 2  of this or 4 of that, and the rules suggest that you write as many answers as you can not just the 2 or 3 or 4 whatever the question requests. As you have two minutes on the timer (there is also an HIVE MIND time App available) this is generally longer than is needed to think of 2 things and so we play it that as long as you have written down the required number of answers ALL answers you write (that are acceptable and within sensible bounds) can be scored. As the answers count for all players it is always a fair game.


In HIVE MIND the meeples (wooden people) are known as Beeples and each player selects one of the 12 different coloured Beeples as their playing piece. The playing area (board) shows the six levels of the Bee Hive and the trail of flowers the Queen Bee takes; she always moves in the same direction until reaching the loop which she then continues around until the end of the game. The number of players determines where the player's Beeples are placed during setup - the top level of the Hive if there are 7 or less players and levels 1 and 2 if 8 or more players; Hive Gates are provided (long wooden bars) to block the stairs as necessary.The Queen moves the number of flowers accorded by the result of the die. The flowers on the Queen's track show one, two or three worker bees or a single worker bee in a Honey Pot.

Player's Beeples begin in the Hive near the top, as explained, and then move down the levels when their owners score the lowest points in a round. One, two or three Beeples may move each round depending on the flower the Queen lands on. If the Queen Bee lands on the single worker in a Honey Pot then the player who scores the highest points in the round moves their Beeple up a level in the Hive. The Hive Gates prevent Beeples moving down but are removed after doing so once thus opening the stairway for the next time Beeples need to move down.

The game ends when one or more Beeples exits the Hive from level six. The remaining Beeples all survive and are declared winners. It is possible that all Beeples leave the Hive at level six in the same round. If this is the case then the Queen magnanimously allows all the Beeples to return to the Hive and survive the Winter as winners. If you want to make the result a little more decisive then you can declare the winner as being the Beeple which is at the higher level in the Hive (#1 being deemed as the highest) - all Beeples on that level beeing tied as winners.

Played as a family game the players have to be thoughtful and mindful of the other player's disposition towards common-sense and should try to keep their answers as near to being correct as possible. 

Although HIVE MIND is a game for a large group of players, thus putting it into the "Are You A Werewolf" genre of multi-player games, there is a 3 player variant on the back page of the rules book which enables players to enjoy HIVE MIND in a similar way to it being played en masse.


HIVE MIND for "Naughty and/or Cheeky Adults"
HIVE MIND is also an extremely amusing game when played by four to six (any more and it gets way out of control very quickly) revelers, enjoying a few bevvies and a bit of naughty banter, as many of the questions are open to comical or bawdy suggestions. Of course some of our players (myself included - so many times my mouth has activated before my brain has engaged) have minds that can, when it seems appropriate, find it hard to get out of the gutter, they just can't Beehive themselves. For example, any question that asks you to "fill in the blanks" is asking for trouble. It is a great late night, end of show/event game when everyone likes to join in but also wind down from a hectic weekend. I remember at GenCon many members of staff playing "Werewolf" at the end of a very long day; great fun. HIVE MIND would be a great game to play in similar circumstances.

There is a box of 300 question cards with three questions on each side making a total of 1800 questions plus the option to create your own questions. With this being a successful kickstarted game I would not be surprised to see boxes of additional questions being made available as expansions at some later date.


Beautifully designed and illustrated board and box. The cards are easy to read and distinctive with their honey coloured borders. The pencils and pad are a nice thoughtful touch and the Beeples just add to the overall fun of the game.




© Chris Baylis 2011-2015