Review: Hive Mind – eating honey


The collective mind is always better. But even the fact that you are smarter will not save you from frost. And so our hive faces a difficult task – how to survive the winter that is approaching every day? The first step is definitely a good supply of honey. But let’s do what we do, there’s always food for all. Our beehive is simply crowded placeand and it is already certain, that some of us will have to go. They will find a place else or become a homeless bee, it depends only on their own diligence.

In order not to experience such a fate, you will have to show really great wisdom in the board game . This novelty was prepared for us by and, above all, by renowned designer . We still have to add ’s illustrations, all in the news for , which sells on the European market.

On the lid, we will find a queen bee with a bunch of flowers and a pile of honey. The whole game is then hidden in a white square box that is not overly large. It consists primarily of a rectangular game plan that is half folded inside the pack and displays six hive floors as well as a flower path for the queen. The plan is to be placed immediately in the center of the table and queen wooden miniature starts at the beginning of the scale, on the big flower.


Each player gets one bee figurine (the so-called beeple, ie a beeple variant on the meeple) and puts it on the top floor of a house. Between some floors (depending on the number of opponents), players place wooden bars. Next to it stack of question card is placed. Each participant then gets one pen and an empty sheet from big notebook. Hourglass and dice are set aside for now.

This time, everything is divided into turns, in which only one of the participants is always active. At the beginning he rolls a dice and, as a result, moves queen forward. Her position will be important a little later. Now, he pulls out the question card, selects one of the three themes, and reads it out loud to all the players at the table. Everyone then secretly writes themselves answers they think fit question best. One word is often not enough, so players have a time limit of two minutes measured by hourglass.

Upon expiration of time, players will compare their written answers. For each entry on their paper, they automatically get one point, regardless of whether answer is correct or not. But game is decided elsewhere. If a player writes a match in which he agrees with others, he will receive bonus points. One for each match.


Then several players will fall to the lower floor. Their number is determined by bees in the queen’s track. Its always the ones who scored the least number of points in the round. In case of a draw, all players sharing number are counted as one, so more characters are dropped lower. Conversely, player with the highest score in a round is allowed to move his figure one floor up. In the collapse of the bee, barrier will slow them down slightly – instead of another fall, blockade will be removed and fall continues only next round.

When one (or more) bee comes out of the hive, whole game ends. Only those players were eliminated and everyone else won. At the same time, this moment has also decided which bees will survive the cold winter in the hive and which will have to fight for their living place elsewhere.

Hive Mind is, at first glance, a very common game, in which you simply write your answers and try to comply with other players. If you fail, you do not collect valuable points, but above all, you can sink down a floor in the hive. The points here have no other meaning than just in the moment. They are not written or summed up anywhere. And that’s the element that surprises.



All the participants, who have temporarily taken a striped yellow-black suit, compete only in a positional battle. Everyone is trying desperately not to fall down and become last. But the queen on her travels can decide that situation in the hive is getting even worse and drop several bees at once. And while in the first stage decides the vocabulary and ability to estimate the opponent, dice has also its say in the number of sinkers. Therefore luck is also important part of gameplay. But players know these numbers in advance and they are more motivated.

An interesting parameter is also total freedom of reply. It does not matter, what the card says, but it comes down to matching other answers. But it is not enough to write as much as meaningless things as possible, because cards show also limit of their number, for example: What four things you can find in the dental office? Or what are three animals that harm your garden? But then you will find even trickier questions like Name one color! And that’s a real challenge.

A barrier will give dropouts another chance or at least temporarily stop their fall. However, the above-standing bees are still falling, so it’s actually such a light catching mechanism that guarantees, there is not large difference between players. For parts in three players, designer recommends increasing number of possible answers on cards from three to five (or by two?).



Absolutely unique is the fact that each card with three questions has one more sentence below: „Or you can come up with your own question!“ This is true throughout the whole game, so if a player is not satisfied with three questions available, he can ask others about anything . And so the game becomes completely unmatched in variability. But there is three hundred cards each having six questions (three on each side) giving you an enormous 1,800 questions that are hard to try all. Before you go back to the first one, you will no longer know your response.

There is no surprise that the more players participate in the game, the more fun they all have. The better news is that game can be played by up to twelve opponents, and it’s in ten and more, when it truly shines. There is more points gained as well as different results and matches. Moreover, the mechanism of the game almost guarantees, there will be more winners than losers at the end. And that is definitely a rarity. Unfortunately, by doing so, total length of the game tends to stretch, although the basic element of each round is the same time. But evaluation and scoring simply takes longer with more players.


Processing is very nice. Someone could say that many components are useless or could be simpler and the game is a bit overproduced. It can seem unnecessary to give players ordinary pencils or notes. But the game board is definitely meaningful and everything is thoughtful and interestingly new. We also enjoy funny theme and illustrations.

Hive Mind is a great party providing fun, that breaks ice and connects all people. It offers a lot of interesting questions and forces players to respond smartly and try to estimate others. Everybody has to be alert, but only a fraction of players really loses. Everyone else can rejoice, as Hive Mind will be making happy a lot of players.

DesignerRichard Garfield
ArtistAndrew Hepworth
PublisherCalliope Games
Year Published2016
# of Players3 - 12
User Suggested # of Players Best with 10 players
Recommended with 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 players
(4 voters)
Playing Time90
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
CategoryParty Game
MechanicCooperative Game, Paper-and-Pencil
ExpansionHive Mind: Board Game Card, Hive Mind: Dice Tower 4 card promo set
FamilySeries: The Titans of Gaming (Calliope Games)
Primary NameHive Mind

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Hive Mind – eating honey
Final word
Hive Mind offers a space where players can show their guessing skills. Everybody gets a common question with a predefined maximum of answers and tries to write and find the most matches with others. They will get points even for words that do not match, but less. Points in the given round will decide who will fall on lower floor in a six-floor hive down and approach elimination. There is a large number of cards in the box that will delight up to a dozen opponents simultaneously in one game. Only matches can take over an hour to complete thanks to scoring in each round. All of this, however, Hive Mind compensates with pure entertainment, especially in the larger numbers.
Reader Rating0 Votes
huge number of questions (and still a free hand to invent your own)
points decide only about individual rounds
no limitation of responses
trying to hit others' answers
retention points on the board
up to 12 players
tends to get longer
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