Mentis Cohorts Q&A
Stuff people have been asking, stuff you may want to know, and stuff I just feel like telling you.
Q: What kind of game is this?
A: The game is a strategy board game that utilizes the Odyssey to enhance game play.
Q: What Game Card does Mentis Cohorts use?
A: It utilizes Game Card #5.
Q: What modes of play are there?
A: Mentis Cohorts is really four games in one. The first is a versus strategy game called Mentis Strike that utilizes the board game and the Odyssey. The second is a versus mode called Mentis, which is the same as Mentis Strike, but without the Odyssey. The third is called Mentis Siege that is a single player game similar to Breakout utilizing the Odyssey and game the pieces. The fourth is called Ego Mentis which utilizes only the game pieces and is a single player puzzle game similar to peg solitaire. I really feel that Mentis is a solid strategy board game on its own. Mentis Strike enhances it to a level that is much more fun for gamers and adds a whole new dimension of strategy and gameplay. Even Mentis Siege is sold enough to stand on its own as the world's first single player Odyssey game. This collection is really solid.
Q: What does the game include?
A: The game includes an 18"x18" vinyl game board, nine black glass tiles, nine white glass tiles, instruction sets for each game, a draw string bag for the game pieces, two vellum screen overlays (A4 size), and a black 3"x24" tubular case with Odyssey style graphics. Oh, and a certificate of purchase, of course.
Q: How much will the game cost?
A: The cases and the boards are cheaper when more are ordered. I am estimating that the final price will be something like $55 with shipping. That may go down if there are a good number of pre-orders. The game board itself is the most expensive component at almost $40 for a single one. With enough orders I can negotiate that price down.
Q: Will Mentis come with Game Card #5?
Q: Why not?
A: Producing PCBs (printed circuit boards) is expensive. By not going that route the cost is reduced significantly. Game Card #5 is extremely common. If you have an Odyssey but not Game Card #5, you can usually find them very cheap, or make one out of a card and some tin foil.
Q: I don't own a Magnavox Odyssey, should I buy this game?
A: Because I said so.
A: Oh, okay. In all seriousness, when I produced Odball a number of people contacted me and expressed and interest, but regretted that they couldn't find an Odyssey at a decent price. I designed Mentis with those gamers in mind as well. The game is fully functional as a stand alone board game. The Odyssey merely adds enhanced game play. I wish Odyssey and Odyssey^2 game designers had this philosophy in mind when they created games like Invasion and Conquest of the World.
Q: Why did you make Mentis? What was the process?
A. Well, for one, lot of people were asking me for a follow up to Odball. Mentis has taken an opposite development course than Odball had. With Odball, I decided years ago that I would produce Game Card #11. Not knowing how it would function, I designed a game based around how the card worked. Initially, the game was designed to be too much like Basketball. Not owning the 1973 games, I didn't know it at the time. Once I realized that I had to go back to the drawing board. The difference between Game Card #8 and Game Card #11 was very slight; the action performed by the reset button. I can see why Magnavox decided not to produce #11. However, I focused on that one difference and built what became Odball around it.
Q: That's great, but what about Mentis?
A: I was getting to that... I had originally intended to only make a single player game, since there had never been one, and I felt that there needed to be. As I got into it further, it was too irresistible to fully flesh it out as a two player strategy board game. Unlike Odball, with Mentis I designed the game first, and then figured out a way to incorporate the Odyssey. Pretty much the exact opposite. I decided early on that I was going to use an existing Game Card, or reproduce Game Card #12. Because of the aforementioned cost of PCBs, I decided it's best to use one that came with Odyssey. Game Card #5 fit the needs perfectly.
Q: How long did the project take?
A: Not long at all. About two weeks?
Q: Will it contain an easter egg?
A: Yes, and I think this one will be more obvious than the one in most copies of Odball.
Q: When will Mentis Cohorts ship?
A: On or about 2/14/11.
Q: How will you ship it?
A: I'll wrap the tube in brown shipping paper so as not to damage it.
Edited by Rev. Rob, Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:51 PM.