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Way of Thinking

2PO Games' Way of Thinking is a cooperative word game designed by Pawel Owsianka where players are making connections between words on their cards for the other players to identify.

The 2-8 players are each dealt a hand of seven cards from the deck of 100. The cards each contain four words. Behind screens, each player chooses a starting and end word and then selects a 'way of thinking' that connects the words. The string of words has to be at least four words long (ie: two words in addition to the start and end word) but it can be up to six words long (ie: four words in addition to the starting and end word). Players drop their screens and these instead become their player boards on which they place out their start and finish words. The other cards they've used are shuffled, and players then have to try to guess the words used to connect.

The example in the rules uses Tree and Pirate as the start and finish words, with the connection words being Apple, Juice, Drink and Rum. It makes sense but it's not as easy as it sounds as players may well think they spot equally valid connections using other words on the cards available. From our Board's Eye View plays, Way of Thinking reminded us of So Clover (Repos Production), which has become one of our most frequently played filler-length games. Way of Thinking is easier to play tho' so more suited to casual gamers for whom creating the connections required in So Clover can be a more daunting prospect.

The boards you lay the cards out on are laid out like a road and when players make their guess - usually after argument and debate with each other - the player who created the 'way of thinking' uses road sign-like markers to indicate where cards are correct or whether they need moving left or right, or up or down. Players collectively score 2 points for words correctly guessed before receiving the feedback hints and 1 point for words correctly guessed after they've seen the markers.

There's a lot to like about Way of Thinking. The simultaneous set up gets the game off to a reasonably fast start and you'll mostly find the guessing stage runs briskly too; so much so that the '10 minutes per person' runtime seemed to be a massive overestimate - even with eight players, we completed a game in less than half the 80 minutes suggested on the box. The rules suggest players use their smartphones to photograph their 'way of thinking' before they shuffle the connection cards. It's sound advice: it's what we usually do with So Clover just in case players forget their choices, especially when the guessers' suggestions turn out to be better than the original :-) The rules also suggest an option for playing Way of Thinking competitively by dividing players into two teams.

And if you find Way of Thinking too easy, you can easily step up the difficulty by adding a random card into the shuffle, which is likely to make things very much tougher...

Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Way of Thinking ahead of its launch on Kickstarter later this year, so there may be changes as the game continues its development. We'll endeavour to add a link to the KS campaign when it goes live.

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