This month’s Blogger Board game was Cortex Challenge. This is sold as a brain party game, for ages 8 and upwards. My daughters are 9 and 12 so as a family board game, this works well for us. The game itself is solely cards, with “brain” pieces to collect and win.
At the beginning of the game, everyone is given the change to “feel” the ten touch cards. There are some that are furry, some that are bobbly and some with ridges. You are supposed to try and remember how to accociate each feel with each card. These cards are then placed to one side and the rest of the deck is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table.
There are eight different types of card.
From top left to right: Colour, Duplicates, Coordination, Maze.
From bottom left to right: Memory, Reasoning, Touch, Frequency.
The colour cards, you need to find which word is written in the same colour as the word itself. The duplicates card, you need to spot which object there is two of. For coordination, you need to remember the back of the card as it shows which hand is which colour and which finger is which number. Then the card itself tells you which hand, which finger and which place on your own face to touch. With the maze card you have to see which letter is the correct exit.
For the memory card, you have to remember which items are pictured on the card when its covered again. The reasoning card is for selecting which image fits correctly into the main image. The touch cards are for a side challenge with the touch cards (you’re handed one at random and have to guess which one it is, from feel only). Finally the Frequency card is for you to work out which image appears the most times on the card.
When the cards are placed in a pile on the table, you can only see the back of the top card and so this tells you what kind of a challenge the card will be. You then turn it over, prepared in part for what you will need to do. When you know the answer, you have to be the quickest to place your hand on the card and then say the answer. If you answer correctly, you gain the card and if you get it wrong you’re then out and it allows everyone else to guess instead – this player also can’t guess in the next round.
As you collect the cards, you have to get two cards with matching backs, to trade in for a brain piece. Once you have four brain pieces then you’re the winner. However when you’re collecting the cards to begin with, you can only hold four at a time. If you gain more than this, you have to discard one.
I personally love IQ tests, as does my eldest daughter. As is to be expected, certain cards appealed more to one person than another – for example I could always get the maze cards easily, but I could rarely see which item was duplicated on the duplicates cards. This is good because it keeps the game fairly fair, with each cards being some people’s strengths and another person’s weakenesses. My only slight grumble, is that it’s not great for a variety of ages. In our family, the youngest is 9 and the oldest is myself at 38. For the most part, my partner and I were the quickest to win cards, with my eldest daughter ocassionally sneaking in a win. My youngest, who struggles to be competitive anyway, really didn’t stand much of a chance and as the game went on, I found myself not answering with the hope she stood more of a chance. Sadly the game actually brought her to tears as she ended up feeling stupid. That said, I went through the cards with her afterwards and she was more than capable of answering them, she just couldn’t get them at speed and against others who were faster.
I think this is a great game, so long as it’s kept within fairly equal groups. If my youngest played this with her friends of similar age and ability, I think she would probably enjoy it. I think the same could be said for my eldest, though then she would probably stand a really strong chance. A great game for adults though, especially those who don’t mind winning or losing!