The Lost Lighthouse Plays: Cortex Challenge

​Welcome back everyone! Well, as we gear ourselves up for Xmas, yes already, we decided to look at a few games we thought could make your gaming partner/friend/cat’s day even better. We have a selection of games ranging from small to large, to fit anyone’s needs/stocking. 

Today we will be looking at Cortex Challenge (designed by Johan Benvenuto & Nicolas Bourgoin). I’m so glad I was able to review Cortex Challenge, whether we should or not, we judge things by the cover and it’s box gave me the vibe of stocking filler normally found by the till in department stores, thankfully it’s so far from this! For me, Cortex fits in the ever growing & popular quick party game category. 

Cortex has a delightfully short rules set, 3 very small pages. You set up the game by shuffling the challenge cards (excluding the textured touch cards) and placing them face down in the middle of the table. The back of each card will tell you what type of challenge the group is about to play. If someone thinks they have solved the challenge they ether perform the action the card tells them to or they cover the card and shout the answer. Ok, you don’t have to shout but I bet you will! If that player is correct then they receive a piece of their brain token. A player needs 4 tokens to complete their brain and win the game. Each player also needs to feel the touch cards as they may get a chance to win a touch challenge in the game.

In Cortex you and up to 5 others will test your grey matter through 8 possible brain games:

1) Memory. For this challenge you will have a card with 5 items on it. Cover the card and say the items out loud to win the challenge. 

2) Maze. Cover the card and say which letter is the correct path out the maze.

3) Colour. Cover the card and say which word is written in it’s own colour.

4) Coordination. Place the corresponding finger/s on the part of your face it tells you to.

5) Duplicates. Cover the card and say which picture has appeared twice on the card.

6) Frequency. Cover the card and say which number has appeared the most.

7) Reasoning. Cover the card and say which shape fits the diagram shown.

8) Touch. If this card comes up, then the person who won the last challenge has a chance to win again. The person in question has to close their eyes while the rest of the group chooses one of the touch cards for the person to try and guess. If they get it right they win another piece of brain!

There’s so many things I love about Cortex. First off, it can fit so many points in a gaming night. Fancy a quick pre or post dinner game, it fits. Want a game to get you excited before a longer game, perfect. Is it small enough to carry in my bag to a friend’s house just in case we can get a quick game in, yes! Is it easy enough to explain/play so non gamers can enjoy, BOOM, it is. Also the price point is perfect for Xmas only costing RRP £12.99. 

Not the best opponent.

 The only downside to Cortex is, like a lot of games, there are types of people that will excel or be awful at this game. If you have a problem solving personality you will probably keep wining, so someone who doesn’t will keep losing. Cleverly there’s different types of challenges and we found some people were better at one type than another. Also, the game is short enough that it’s doubtful someone doing badly will get board and it’s exciting just to play let alone win. 

If you like games like Dobble or Jungle Speed then I’m confident you’ll enjoy this. I love those games and Cortex will happily sit next to them in my collection.

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