Everything You Need To Know About Hive Mind

Everything You Need to Know About Hive Mind!

After a long cold winter, we hope you are all enjoying this beautiful spring as much as we are. Just the other day, we realized that we should take this fresh season to reintroduce Hive Mind™

In this party game from the mind of Richard Garfield, there are no wrong answers! Players simply need to answer questions the way they think their fellow players will respond and will score points for each match they achieve. Again, they don’t have to be correct! It’s all about knowing your audience and the way they think. Each round, players will roll the die to determine how many of the lowest-scoring answers will move down the player board. Then, a question will be asked, and answers given and scored. Once one or more players move lower than level six, they are eliminated from the Hive Mind and everyone else wins!


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How to Play

View The Rulebook

Quick Start Guide


In Hive Mind™, you will find out how mentally in sync you are with your group. Only those who think the most alike will be allowed to stay within the Hive Mind!

To get started, You’ll need at least 3 players and up to… well, as many as you’d like (and can find tokens for)! Each player will need a token, a sheet from the included notepad, and a writing utensil of some sort. We’d recommend the Hive Mind pencils because, really, how cute are they?!

Place all tokens at the top of the hive (1). The player who suggested the game is the first active player, and the play proceeds clockwise.

Place the Hive Mind board in the center of the table where all the players can reach it, with the side that best suits your group facing up. For a speedier game, use the 6-level side. For a longer experience, use the 8-level side.
Place the question box to the side of the board so it is easily accessible by all players and set the die next to the board.

Quick Tip: For remote play, one player can read or type all questions. Players can leave replies or reactions to answers in chat to denote they had the same answer.


Roll the die. The die result determines how many low scores will trigger Mind Pawn movement at the end of the turn (see Move the Mind pawns below). On rare occasions, it can even provide a boost to top scorers!


Ask a question. The active player draws a card from the question box, chooses one of the three questions from its front side, and reads it out loud. Players may also make up their own questions; it’s fun to be creative!

Answer the question. All players, including the active player, now answer the question by writing down their responses on their own pieces of paper. Most questions ask for multiple responses. Players have 2 minutes to finish their answers; use any available timer to track the time. Once the question has been asked, no (on-topic) discussion is allowed until the active player’s answers are revealed.

Compare and tally points. The active player begins by reading their answers, one response at a time. Players automatically score 1 point for each response they wrote, plus 1 additional point for each other player that wrote down the same matching response. After the active player has read their entire answer, go clockwise around the table and have the next player read and score their responses that have not been mentioned yet. Do this until all responses have been read, then tally your score.

Example of Play

Let’s say Stacy pulls the card pictured above. Since the weather has been on the hot side for spring, that third question instantly catches her eye. She asks the group, “What are 3 ways to stay cool?”. After starting the timer on her phone, she writes down air conditioning and swimming as obvious answers, then, knowing her friends all have season passes, decides on Splash Mountain as her third (knowing it will cause several groans of “Too soon!”). Luckily for her, two of her friends thought of the same retired ride, giving each of them 3 points. Her obvious answers had better luck, but the joke was worth it. 

After matching with six of her friends for air conditioning (7 points) and eight of her friends for swimming (9 points), Stacy wraps up her turn with a total of 19 points. Play would then proceed clockwise around the group, with players only sharing answers that had not yet been scored. 

Move the Mind Pawns. Note the number of dots on the die that was rolled at the start of the turn. That number indicates how many of the lowest-scoring totals will cause their Mind Pawns to move down in the Hive. If the die shows one dot, then all the players that had the single lowest score for their turn move their Mind pawn down one level of the Hive Mind board. If the die shows two dots, then all the players with the two lowest scores for the turn move their mind pawn down one level, and so on. If there’s a star, there’s been some major improvement in the hive! All players with the single lowest score move down one level, and all players with the single highest score move up a level!

The game ends as soon as one or more pawns leave the hive.

Everyone still inside wins!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make up my own question?

At first glance, it might seem easy to make up questions requiring absurd numbers of answers, and specialized knowledge, in an effort to rack up maximum points. While this is possible, it also makes for a considerably less interesting and fun experience for the table, since now players will be trying to write as many things as possible in two minutes, or feeling left out because they can’t write anything. 

Try to limit the numbers to five or fewer to give everyone ample time to engage. If you’re worried your questions might be too specialized, check with the table to learn what topics might better suit the make-your-own-question category.

Do these answers match?

Sometimes it can be tricky to decide whether players’ answers match or not. Here are some guidelines:

What you are referring to is important- not how you refer to it.
For example, in naming U.S. Presidents, Lincoln, Abe Lincoln, and Abraham Lincoln all match. Spelling doesn’t matter if the other player understands what is meant. In this case, as a group players can even choose to accept the 16th President as a match.

Plurality doesn’t matter. For example, cats is the same as cat.

Less general does not match more general.  Snoopy doesn’t match beagle, which doesn’t match dog, which doesn’t match mammal. Answers of different levels of generality should not be considered matches, because players may then be motivated to always write down the most general thing.

You can’t get the same matches on more than one reference within an answer.
If players decide that stone and rock match, and one player wrote down both stone and rock, then that player may count other players’ answers as a match with only one of these: however, that player still earns an automatic point for the other answer not counted as a match.

What are the stickers for? 

Accessibility! Those snazzy textured pawn wraps are included to help players easily spot their pawn in the Hive Mind. 

Reviews & Playthroughs

New Box Gameplay and First Impressions – Board Game Barrister takes a look at the new game design and its playability in groups!

PARTY GAME HIVE MIND GETS NEW & UPDATED EDITION– Beasts of War takes a look at the changes between the new design of Hive mind, vs the old Hive mind design.

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