The best "Mensa Select🇺🇸" winners and nominees 2024

Looking for a good game that won or was nominated for the "Mensa Select" award? Then we have just the thing for you: A list with the best "Mensa Select" winners and games that were on the nomination list.

What is the "Mensa Select" game award?

The "Mensa Select" is an award for dice, card & board games. The award originates from 🇺🇸USA, was created in 1990 and is chosen by a jury.

Every year since 1990, the American Mensa selects several (usually 5) games to recommend as part of its Mind Games competition. These games are called Mensa Select.

From 1990-1995, the Mind Games judges were selected by the American Mensa branch. Since 1996, all members of American Mensa have been eligible to participate in Mind Games as judges, although an entry fee is required.

Mensa Select Categories

The Mensa Select award is presented each year in the following categories:

  • Mensa Recommended
  • Mensa Select

More info can be found on the official Mensa Select homepage or the Wikipedia contribution of Mensa Select.

Other game awards from around the world.

There are many more game awards from around the world, you can find a list at the bottom of this page.

List of best Mensa Select winners & nominees 2024:

This list was last updated on April 18, 2024. We compared 159 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Azul

    All details for the board game Azul and similar games

    Azul invites you to step into the captivating world of Portuguese artistry and craftsmanship. This board game draws inspiration from the introduction of azulejos, originally white and blue ceramic tiles, by the Moors. The tiles found a new home in Portugal when King Manuel I, during a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was enchanted by the exquisite Moorish decorative tiles adorning its interior. Filled with awe and inspiration, the king promptly ordered the embellishment of his own palace in Portugal with similar decorative tiles. As a skilled tile-laying artist, you are tasked with the prestigious mission of adorning the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora.

    Nominated for 30 awards and won 19.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2018

    More details for Azul
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Azul

    • YouTube Review for the game "Azul" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  2. Time's Up!

    All details for the board game Time's Up! and similar games

    Time's Up! is a lively and entertaining charades-based party game, ideal for playing in teams of two or more. It's particularly engaging when played with teams of two. The game revolves around guessing famous historical or fictional characters, with each player contributing to a communal deck of names used across three distinct rounds.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    More details for Time's Up!
    • 4 - 18 Players
    • 90 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  3. Take 5

    All details for the board game Take 5 and similar games

    6 nimmt!, also known as Take 5, Category 5 and other names, is a card game focused on scoring as few points as possible. It combines elements of strategy, prediction, and a bit of luck.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 3.

    More details for Take 5
    • 2 - 10 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  4. Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

    All details for the board game Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and similar games

    Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure is an exciting board game where players become daring thieves, sneaking into a dragon's lair to steal artifacts while avoiding making noise to prevent waking the dragon.

    Nominated for 11 awards and won 3.

    More details for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  5. Qwixx

    All details for the board game Qwixx and similar games

    Qwixx is a fast-paced and engaging dice game that involves all players actively, regardless of whose turn it is. It combines simple mechanics with a need for strategic decision-making, making it a fun and interactive game for all involved.

    Nominated for 9 awards and won 3.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2013

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2013

    More details for Qwixx
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 15 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  6. Wits & Wagers

    All details for the board game Wits & Wagers and similar games

    Wits & Wagers is a unique and engaging party game that combines elements of trivia with betting and strategy. It stands out from traditional trivia games by allowing players to win not only by knowing the answers but also by smartly wagering on the guesses of others.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 3.

    More details for Wits & Wagers
    • 3 - 7 Players
    • 25 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  7. Trekking Through History

    All details for the board game Trekking Through History and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 1.

    More details for Trekking Through History
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  8. Akropolis

    All details for the board game Akropolis and similar games

    Akropolis is a strategic board game set in ancient Greece, where players take on the roles of skilled architects competing to build the most prestigious city. The game focuses on urban planning, resource management, and tactical tile placement.

    Nominated for 17 awards and won 9.

    More details for Akropolis
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 20 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  9. Imagine

    All details for the board game Imagine and similar games

    Imagine is a creative and engaging party game that challenges players to guess over a thousand different items from various categories using 61 unique transparent cards. These cards can be combined by placing them next to each other or by layering them on top of one another to create representations of the items to be guessed. The key rule is that players must convey these concepts silently, relying solely on their ability to manipulate and combine the cards to express their ideas.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 2.

    More details for Imagine
    • 3 - 8 Players
    • 15 - 30 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  10. Dominion

    All details for the board game Dominion and similar games

    In Dominion, you step into the shoes of a monarch, much like your ancestors, ruling over a small, picturesque kingdom. However, your ambitions stretch far beyond the peaceful realm you've inherited. Your goal is to expand your territory, transforming these modest lands into a vast dominion filled with diverse landscapes and resources.

    Nominated for 32 awards and won 17.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2009

    More details for Dominion
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  11. Anomia

    All details for the board game Anomia and similar games

    Anomia is a fast-paced card game that tests players' ability to quickly recall random information under pressure. The game draws on players' knowledge of various categories like food, music, and more. Gameplay involves drawing cards and facing off with other players in a battle of quick thinking when matching symbols are revealed. Players must rapidly provide examples of the category on their opponent's card, with successful answers winning them the card. The challenge intensifies with wild cards that create unexpected matches and cascading face-offs triggered by card exchanges.

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 3.

    More details for Anomia
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  12. Gizmos

    All details for the board game Gizmos and similar games

    Gizmos is a dynamic and inventive board game that challenges players to build the most efficient and powerful machines at a competitive Science Fair. The game is a blend of strategy and resource management, where players vie to earn the most victory points through clever machine construction.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 2.

    More details for Gizmos
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 40 - 50 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  13. Raiders of the North Sea

    All details for the board game Raiders of the North Sea and similar games

    Raiders of the North Sea is a vibrant board game set during the Viking Age, where players embody Viking warriors vying for the Chieftain's recognition through strategic raiding and resource management.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 3.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2017

    More details for Raiders of the North Sea
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 - 80 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  14. boop.

    All details for the board game boop. and similar games

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 2.

    More details for boop.
    • 2 Players
    • 20 - 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  15. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

    All details for the board game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and similar games

    Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is a cooperative deck-building game set in the beloved world of Harry Potter. Players join forces as Hogwarts students to protect the castle from dark forces.

    Nominated for 8 awards and won 1.

    More details for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 11+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  16. Snake Oil

    All details for the board game Snake Oil and similar games

    Snake Oil offers a refreshing twist on party games, where creativity, quick thinking, and persuasive skills reign supreme. Players transform into cunning salespeople, concocting bizarre products from a random assortment of word cards to pitch to various "customers" drawn from a deck of unique character cards. The aim is not just to sell a product but to tailor the pitch to the whims and needs of an ever-changing clientele, ranging from pirates to zombies.

    Nominated for 1 award and won 1.

    More details for Snake Oil
    • 3 - 10 Players
    • 20 - 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  17. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

    All details for the board game Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and similar games

    Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is a beautifully themed game where players decorate a palace lake with vibrant floating lanterns. It's a strategic and visually appealing game of tile placement and set collection.

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 1.

    More details for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

    • YouTube Review for the game "Lanterns: The Harvest Festival" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  18. Ingenious

    All details for the board game Ingenious and similar games

    Ingenious, also known as Einfach Genial, is a strategic tile-placement game that challenges players to think tactically about color scoring. It's a game that balances individual progress with the need to perform well across different areas.

    Nominated for 14 awards and won 7.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2004

    More details for Ingenious
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  19. TransAmerica

    All details for the board game TransAmerica and similar games

    TransAmerica is a straightforward and engaging railway-themed board game where players work to connect a set of cities across the United States using rail lines. The game emphasizes strategic planning and efficient use of shared networks, offering a blend of individual strategy and interactive play.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2002

    More details for TransAmerica
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  20. Architects of the West Kingdom

    All details for the board game Architects of the West Kingdom and similar games

    In Architects of the West Kingdom, set against the backdrop of the late Carolingian Empire around 850 AD, players step into the roles of royal architects. Tasked with constructing important buildings and advancing the construction of the Archbishop's cathedral, this game uniquely combines resource management, worker placement, and moral choices into a rich strategic tableau. Players vie for the King's favor and maintain their noble status in a world where virtue and vice coexist.

    Nominated for 17 awards and won 5.

    More details for Architects of the West Kingdom
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 60 - 80 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Architects of the West Kingdom

    • YouTube Review for the game "Architects of the West Kingdom" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  21. Marrakech

    All details for the board game Marrakech and similar games

    Marrakech is a strategic board game where players take on the roles of competing rug salespeople in the vibrant and bustling market of Marrakech. The aim is to outsmart your competitors through careful placement of carpets and savvy financial decisions.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 3.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2008

    More details for Marrakech
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 6+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  22. Qwirkle

    All details for the board game Qwirkle and similar games

    The abstract game of Qwirkle unfolds with 108 wooden blocks, each featuring six different shapes in six distinct colors. Unlike traditional board games, there is no designated board; players utilize any available flat surface.

    Nominated for 12 awards and won 2.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2011

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2011

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2011

    More details for Qwirkle
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 6+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  23. Hive

    All details for the board game Hive and similar games

    Hive is a highly strategic two-player game that stands out for its versatility and unique gameplay mechanics, involving a variety of insect-themed pieces.

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 2.

    More details for Hive
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  24. The Great Dalmuti

    All details for the board game The Great Dalmuti and similar games

    The Great Dalmuti is a light and engaging card game that revolves around players striving to improve their social status by being the first to discard all their cards. The game is a commercial adaptation of the traditional card game President, and it offers a fun, fast-paced experience.

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 1.

    More details for The Great Dalmuti
    • 4 - 8 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  25. YINSH

    All details for the board game YINSH and similar games

    YINSH is a strategic abstract game that is part of the renowned GIPF series of games. It involves a clever combination of movement and flipping of markers on the board, with players aiming to align five markers of their own color. The unique aspect of YINSH is its balance between advancing towards victory and simultaneously weakening your position.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 2.

    More details for YINSH
    • 2 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 9+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  26. Blokus

    All details for the board game Blokus and similar games

    Blokus is an abstract strategy game known for its simple rules and deep strategic gameplay. It features colorful Tetris-shaped pieces that players aim to place on the board.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 4.

    More details for Blokus
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 7+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  27. Forbidden Desert

    All details for the board game Forbidden Desert and similar games

    Forbidden Desert is a cooperative adventure game where players work together to recover a legendary flying machine from the ruins of an ancient desert city, while surviving extreme environmental challenges.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 4.

    More details for Forbidden Desert
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Forbidden Desert

    • YouTube Review for the game "Forbidden Desert" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  28. Castles of Mad King Ludwig

    All details for the board game Castles of Mad King Ludwig and similar games

    Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a creative and strategic tile-laying game where players construct an opulent castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. This game combines architectural planning with economic strategy.

    Nominated for 14 awards and won 4.

    More details for Castles of Mad King Ludwig
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 90 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  29. Mille Fiori

    All details for the board game Mille Fiori and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 2.

    More details for Mille Fiori
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 - 90 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  30. Forbidden Island

    All details for the board game Forbidden Island and similar games

    Forbidden Island is a visually captivating cooperative board game that sets itself apart from traditional competitive games. In this thrilling adventure, players must join forces and collaborate to achieve victory instead of competing against each other. The goal is clear: work together as a team to secure a win.

    Nominated for 13 awards and won 5.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2011

    More details for Forbidden Island
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Forbidden Island

    • YouTube Review for the game "Forbidden Island" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English

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