MYnd Kraft by Tharini Rajamohan - First Thoughts - Richard Simpson
MYnd Kraft by Tharini Rajamohan is a more of a games system then an actual game, combining some basic programming knowledge in order to create a series of mini games that can be expanded upon and even altered to increase or decrease the difficulty.
Look on it as something similar to what Bez did with Wibbell ++ or Karen Rubins achieved with Comic Turns, both of which are brilliant fun in their own right and continue to offer additional hours of entertainment as you experiment and explore with the foundations provided in their respective core sets.
Let us start with the encouraging first observation that you can sit down and know the basics of how MYnd Kraft works in little under four minutes, regardless of how much or little programming knowledge that you have, and that if you can’t tell your switch from your loop, or your function from your data structure then worry not, as the instruction booklet is laid out in a clear series of tables that explain exactly how each of the cards work.
You will have two types of cards to play with in MYnd Kraft, an action or a number card. Number cards are self explanatory, ranging from 0 to 7 in Red, Yellow, Green and Blue. Bright and colourful and easy to understand. You also get a black wild card that can serve as any colour or number if required.
I have concerns as to whether those with colour blindness might have some accessibility issues as there are no obvious ways to tell the colours apart otherwise. However this being a kickstarter game and being subject to change, there is a possibility that this may be altered in the final product that is shipped out.
The action cards are where all of the action takes place, and each action card requires you to place an appropriate number card accordingly based on required conditions. At this point it will be easier to look on the pictures I’ve taken of the game, but as a brief explanation, some might allow you to lay down any card, regardless of the colour. Others will only allow you to lay specific colours and numbers. Loops will require you to lay more than one card down, arrays will let you play up to a certain number of cards as long as you adhere to the colour rules. The beauty of MYnd Kraft is that once you have a basic understanding of these core concepts then putting them into practice on the included mini-games is no difficult undertaking.
Games like EZY CODR require each player to play a card based on the what is stated on the action card. SPEEDY MONSTR ramps this up and has everyone playing at the same time resulting in some fast and furious gameplay. MEMRY FLIPOTHON takes this further and needs you to not remember pairs, but where the combined action and number cards can be found. This all culminates in COBBLE THE CODE, where the team works together to create a number and action based crossword type puzzle that takes into account everything that has been learned so far and has solutions criss crossing each other in a programming rainbow that is very satisfying.
So what you have here is a card game system that will educate, entertain and potentially delight those that take the time to dig below the initial couple of game modes and explore its full potential. For those who decide to go even further, there are the options to develop your own modes and create your own games which is probably what Tharini intended in the first place. Will some find it dull because of a lack of overall ‘theme’? Well yes, but i wouldn’t expect them to pick it up in the first place. I can see it thriving in an educational environment or for those looking for something to teach as well as entertain. My biggest concern? The name is so close to a very well known massive behemoth of an IP that a name change might be an inevitability, and in fact, to those i mentioned MYnd Kraft to, the first question was about blocks instead of maths. But we shall see.
If you are looking for something different, educational and with potential to be the card game that keeps giving, then MYnd Kraft is something worth considering, especially for younger gamers.
We received a preview version of the game, so the final graphics, layout and card quality may differ in the final product.
MYnd Kraft is appearing on kickstarter os make sure you check out the campaign fully before backing.