Sunday, 1 February 2015

Board-gaming Experience at The Mind Cafe (Tampines Safra)

Are you bored of the routine-based activities with your friends and loved ones? Shopping, dining and catching movies can be fun, but it might strain your pockets if it's done repeatedly (perhaps mundane as well). I recently discovered a place that allows you to bond with friends in a more budgeted way. Maybe "discovered" is not a suitable word since I've long known about Tampines Safra's existence. But you get my point. 

Tampines Safra sounds like a typical sports center with nothing interesting except for the sports enthusiasts. I thought so too. But there's this hidden gem inside. 

 The Mind Cafe

The Mind Cafe provides a comfortable and pleasant environment for customers to chill with their friends while playing a variety of board/card games. With their current promotion rate of $2/hour on weekdays and $2.50/hour on weekends, you can enjoy hours of gaming without overspending. For $6.90, you get to order a drink, a munchies and enjoy 1 hour of gaming session.

Check out some of their available games on the shelf:

There were a few common childhood games that I used to play when I was younger, such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, etc but I've never heard or seen about 80-90% of the games there. That is what makes the place interesting right?

My first experience at the cafe was with Shiu Heng and Siyuh. (My SMS clique - you can probably guess why from our names) Subsequently, I brought my bf and he enjoyed it as well!

I like that they provide comfy sofa seats so that you can sit here for hours and enjoy!

Here are some of the games that we have played:

Pop up Pirate!

This game is so simple, yet addictive as it gives adrenaline rush while playing. You can even include forfeits in for the extra bit of fun! It's a very kid-friendly game because it's so easy to understand. No complicated rules and whatsoever. The game speaks for itself!

How to play:

Push the pirate into the hole on the top until you hear a 'click' sound. Then pick your knife color and take turns to insert the knife into the gaps around the barrel. You lose if the pirate pops out on your turn. Seriously a game of plain luck.

I played this with SH and SY but both asked to stop after the first round. So I challenged my bf on the next visit. I guess luck must be in my side because I won all 3 rounds! What's even better is that he lost on the first turn. Haha! 


This is one of the best games I've played so far. It's all about testing your reaction. And maybe your general knowledge? It's not THAT easy to spontaneously think of random words for answers. People with fast response gets the best advantage. 

How to play:

Separate the blue and yellow deck. For each turn, open the blue and yellow card at the same time. For example, if you get "S" and "animals", the first one to hit the "I know!" card and give a suitable answer (e.g. Snake) wins the round. The winner gets the benefit of opening the next card in the deck. 

I suck at this game, but surprisingly it's also my favourite one. Trust me, it might SEEM like a kiddy game to be shouting out answers from categories like animals, body parts, girl's name, boy's name. But when there's more than one trying hard to fight for an answer, the game becomes more challenging. Oh and btw, some categories ain't that easy anyway. 

Sitting Ducks Gallery Card Game

You know how ducks are always typically used as targets in carnivals? It's the same for here, but played with a deck of cards. Like always, you can aim and shoot down any duck, but the difference is that you get to "protect" your duck with special cards.

How to play:

Pick your favourite duck colour and remember, that's your ducks and you have to prevent them for getting shot. For every turn, every player will get a specific number of action cards to use. Some of these action cards include "aim", "target" or other special cards that can protect your ducks (Quite self-explanatory). The ducks have to move in a line when any duck is shot. The player with all ducks eliminated first loses the game. 

This game would be really fun if played with at least 4 players, although I already enjoyed when it was played with only 3 players. You can sabo your friends, and even team up with another "ally" to bring down your "enemy". Like for example, if you know that your friend after you has a "shoot action card", while you have "target card", you can team up against another player. 

I think I was rather lucky that day, because I draw the "resurrection card" twice - which allows your duck to be revived after it is shot. If I'm not wrong there's only ONE card in the entire deck. 


Battleship is probably a half-guessing-half-strategy game, similar to Mastermind if you have played that before. I'm not a great fan of this game, but bf is.
How to play:

*I played this without the human character as we weren't sure about that
Each player place their battleships on the blue section of the board in any part they wish. Then each player takes turn to make guesses to "bomb" your enemy's battleships e.g. A9, B3, D2, etc. If your enemy's battleship got hit, you insert the red peg into the specific hole of the board on the green section; on the other hand, if you miss the target, insert a white peg. When your enemy is aiming at your battleship, you will also have to place either the red/ white pegs on the blue section. 

Chinese Chess

Chess can be quite a stressful and tedious game if you are not experienced. I had to pause for a very long time to plan out my next step. Tiring indeed. But I won both rounds! Yay! I'm not going to go through the game rules since it is quite complicated. Go google the game rules (: 

The Penguin Iceberg Game?
(Can't remember the name)

This game is cute and kid-friendly! Like Jenga which tests on the stability of your fingers for removing the blocks carefully, this game challenges you to place the penguins on a wobbly iceberg without causing a massive earthquake resulting in all the other penguins to tumble down.  

How to play:

Simple. Take turns to carefully place a penguin on any part of the iceberg. The player who causes any other penguins to drop, loses the game. 

Stix and Stones

When this caught my attention on the shelf, I knew that I will definitely fall in love with this game. Stix and Stones is played like the guessing word game similar to Charades, Pictionary, Heads up, etc. But the interesting part comes in when you have to use literally sticks and stones to form a picture of the word. It's all about your creativity and imagination! 

How to play:

Each player takes turn to draw a card and throw the dice. You have to form a picture of the word that you got. E.g. Dice is 3, so you have to picture a television. Other players have to compete to guess the correct answer. You can play it within a specific time frame to make it more challenging. Check out some of the "pictures" we formed with our creativity hahaha. 

(Ferris Wheel)

(Roller Coaster)

(Ice cream cone)

I had a really enjoyable experience at The Mind Cafe, but with just 2 people, things might start to get a little boring after a few times. It is still recommended that you go in groups to maximize the board gaming experience, but having a date at The Mind Cafe can be quite interesting as well. Don't have too high expectations on the food though, I think the food is pretty decent. However I was disappointed with the drinks, I went there twice to order some coffee or mocha float and it tasted terrible (I'm guessing it's due to the ice-cream). 

The Mind Cafe:
Safra Tampines
1A Tampines Street 92 #01-00A

There are other outlets as well, visit for more info!

Some of the photos are credited to Shiu Heng! 

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