Mind Shadows v1

Mind Shadows,  version 1, [board game], July 2018, Stockholm, Sweden
by Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari, Otter Play.

In this 2-3 player board game, you together find ways to overcome Shadows – real-world problems or concepts.

You give each other super-powers that represent your strengths in the real world. You monitor each other’s wellbeing, finding ways make to each other happy, and lending each other support when low. The shadow will fight that all the way, but by playing creatively you can reduce its negative emotion and significance – and win the game.

You play with supportive cards, while the shadow uses destructive ones. You can author new support cards as needed that affects both the other players, and the shadow.

During play a story-pile is created, helping you to keep track of who did what. In the end of the game, the pile is summary of how you jointly approached your shadow. Then, you can pick the best new cards to become part of your deck, personalising it, making it possible for one friend’s support-card to help another friend, in a future game.


The game is available here and it’s a present. If you have time to fill in a form of your experience playing it (Link to be posted here later), it would be very welcome. This game is developed as an experiment to learn if and how game mechanics can help us to cope with life.

Download rule book: MindShadows Booklet – Rule book
(4 A4 or letter size papers. Print double sided, short edge binding. Fold it on the middle.)

Download Boards, tokens, and Cards: Mind Shadows Boards and Bits and Cards
(28 A4 or letter size papers. Print single sided. Cut out pieces.)

Except for the printer-paper, you need a pair of scissors to cut the pieces, and a 6sided die and a pen for writing in order to play.


Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari – Design, play-testing, production.

Ämeli Hansson – Graphics for game boards, bits and cards.

Ron Meiners – Advice and play-testing of two sessions with game designers

Marjatta Eladhari – Advice regarding framing of a safe reflective game-space.

Partaking in play-tests of the participatory design flavor, offering their time and ideas for improvements, a list of no particular order:
Amy Hoover, Hedvig von Hofsten, Christopher Holmgard, Josh McCoy, Ariel Boone-Worthman, Georgios Yannakakis, Katherine Isbister, Michael Mateas, Ron Meiners, Steve Meretzky, Rauno Palosaari, Faysal Eladhari, Matti Eladhari, Sirpa Suvanto, Lena Wikström, Ted Costranova, Susanne Norrby, Patricia Erlandsson,  Julian Togelius, Sarah Wikström, Nemo Wikström, Afram Gabro, Daniel Fridell, and Marcus Särefjord.

StartUp Stockholm provided financial support for the production of graphics.

More Information

Bleed in, Bleed Out – A Design Case in Board Game Therapy, by Eladhari, M.P., Digra 2018 Conference, Turin, Italy, July 2018.