2015 Mensa Select Winners

Mensa Select Winner SealThe annual Mensa Mind Games took place this weekend in San Diego. There, 325 judges played through 60 different games to choose the following Mensa Select Winners:

Dragonwood—A push-your-luck game of rolling dice and capturing fantastic creatures. Players may also along the way attempt to grab enhancements but when the two dragons are gone the game is over. [Published by Gamewright.]

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival—Which pairs set-collecting and tile-laying as players build floating displays of paper lanterns for the emperor of China. [Designed by Christopher Chung. Published by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games.]

Castles of Mad King Ludwig—Another tile-laying game, in which players attempt to build the most extravagant castle for the king. [Designed by Ted Alspach. Published by Bezier Games.]

Letter Tycoon—A word game in which players can also purchase letters and then charge other players to use them. [Designed by Brad Brooks. Published by Breaking Games.]

Trekking the National Parks—Which combines card play, a national map to track movement, and details specific to each of the 59 U.S. national parks. [Designed by Charlie Bink.]

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Lanterns The Harvest FestivalYou can bring honor to your family by collecting lanterns and dedicating them to the royal palace without having to travel back in time to early 1900s China to participate. All you need is a love of paper lighting and the board game Lanterns: The Harvest Festival.

This tile-laying, set collection game is set in Imperial China. Players must put on displays of paper lanterns by placing tiles into the palace lake. Tiles are covered with colorful lanterns of a variety of colors.

Every player will then receive a lantern card based on the side of the tile they are facing. Collect enough card sets based on poker style combinations and dedicate them to receive honor.

Lantern card sets consist of combinations like three-of-a-kind, three pairs, and so on. The first person to make a specific card set dedication receives the highest amount of honor for that particular dedication. After that, honor decreases gradually with each additional dedication.

The idea is that, when you place a tile, you must think about what cards you need to complete a set, but you must also think about what your opponents need and try to avoid giving it to them.

Of course, the player that has earned the most honor at the end of the game gets to go home to a happy, approving family. Everyone else goes home in shame.

The game supports two to four players, ages eight and up. It takes approximately 25 to 35 minutes to get through a game.

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival by Foxtrot Games and Renegade Games costs $35 and is available at your local board game store.

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