There are so many games on the market that get the gears moving in your brain, including Scrabble, Bananagrams, Trivial Pursuit, and Boggle. But what about those of us who didn’t major in English in college or don’t have a plethora of interesting facts stored away for a rainy day? MindWare has the answer… or well, answers.

Cirplexed! is a 360-degree game of strategy that doesn’t include numbers, facts, or words. Each tile features quarter circles of different colors. Each player creates his or her own game board by drawing and placing tiles, in an attempt to create the most single-color circles. It sounds simple, but even at 23 years old, I could only match about eight circles total. Though the game is designed for two to six players, it can be played solo, as well, to put your brain to work when friends and family members aren’t around.


Another game from MindWare, Q-Bitz Extreme, tests players’ neurological abilities with no prior knowledge required. Unlike Cirplexed!, where players can take their time placing tiles, Q-Bitz Extreme is a game of speed as much as strategy. In basic game play, each player gets 16 six-sided blocks, each side featuring a different shape. One player draws a card and places it where all of the players can see. Then, players must arrange their blocks in a specific pattern to match the image on the card. The first one to finish and to shout, “Q-Bitz!” wins the round. There are four rounds, each with a variation on the basic game play. Though it sounds simple enough, some of the cards are extremely difficult. Again, at 23 years old, I had a hard time.


Games like these from MindWare have a really high play value because the whole family can enjoy them. In the case of Cirplexed!, the rules are simple enough for kids as young as 6 to play, but the game is challenging enough so that adults are engaged by it, as well. Plus, there is no worry of looking silly in front of friends and family who may be better with words or trivia. These games give players the chance to show their brain power and improve strategic thinking at the same time.

Cirplexed! and Q-Bitz Extreme are available for purchase at specialty retailers and at