As you can imagine, at Good Games we play an awful lot of games. And while many of them are good, and often better than good, only once in a while do we come across a game that ticks so many boxes.
Medium is one of those games.
A card-based party game for 2-8 players, Medium is a word game like no other.
The premise- that you'll mind-meld with your partner, connect psychically, and score points-, was certainly something that piqued my interest. Surely a game couldn't bring about one's latent psychic potential, right? I mean, if you believe any of that at all.
So, does the game awaken your psychic power and allow you to mind meld with the other players?
Hrmm. I don't think I can answer definitively yes or no.
So, how do you go about becoming a Medium and winning the game?
Players are split into teams of two, and everyone is dealt six cards from a shared deck. The deck itself is made up of a randomly determined selection of the thirteen different card sets that come with the game- this means that the cards and combinations thereof won't come up as often, and you won't ever be cursed with a repeat game due to poor shuffling.
Each card will have a single word written on it. For example, 'Camping.' On your team's turn, one of you take a card from your hand and place it face up so your partner can see (and so everyone else can see- Medium is very fun to watch when it's not your turn!).
Then, your partner chooses a card from their hand, and places it next to yours. In this example, let's say 'Camping' was put down first, and then your partner put down 'Swamp.'
Once the two cards are there, it's time to mind meld with your partner!
How do you do this?
Well, generally, with a lot of intense gesturing and laughter- you cannot talk!
What the players have to do is think of a word that relates to both of the words already in place. Then, you begin the mind meld process, and count backwards from 3 in unison with your partner, and then you both say the word you're thinking of- and you want it to be the same!
So, 'Camping' and 'Swamp', meant that myself and my partner Rob in unison began our mind meld and said “Three, two, one- Horror!” and got so excited because it was our first successful mind meld!
Now, of course, there isn't really any psychic powers being unlocked here (though anyone who was a mind reader would have an unfair advantage!), but it's so satisfying to feel like you're on the same wavelength with your partner.
And it's equally frustrating when you're on the same wavelength but your words are just a little 'off'! Such as when Rob and I had the combination 'Movie' and 'Fish', but the words we said during our mind meld were “Nemo” and “Jaws”- which, of course, meant our mind meld was unsuccessful.
I'm a big fan of games that can suit a variety of environments, and Medium really has a lot of options.
It's a great game for a party, where you just want to have some laughs. The scoring system makes it a great casual game for players with a more competitive edge.
It's a great game for a 'battle of the besties' where pairs of best friends try to show off their inside jokes and how well they know each other by mind melding over and over again.
It's a great game for a first date, when you're trying to get to know someone- and hey, you might click!
Medium is an excellent ice breaker game if you're hosting your first game night with people who perhaps don't all know each other very well.
As I said at the top, Medium really ticks so many boxes- especially when you consider it's small, easy to travel, and inexpensive- it's a great addition to your board game library!
At Good Games, we think Medium is gonna be a hot contender for Christmas gifts this year- we're already playing it regularly here at the office!
Like Codenames before it, Medium uses words, an easy-to-teach mechanic, and an interesting premise to make it a stand-out title within an ever-swelling market.
Good Games Brand Manager Jaime Lawrence summed it up best:
“No two people see the world in the same way, so Medium is a game that's all about putting yourself in someone else's shoes - the trick, of course, is to not do that at the same time they are stepping into yours.”
Get your copy of Medium today at your local Good Games store!