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As we enthusiastically reported back in May 2011, Neurogadget was among the first few to post a preview of Mindout, a fast paced arcade game similar to the classic Breakout, except this one you play with your brainwaves. The Dutch team Dreams of Danu launched Mindout in 14. December 2011 for PC and Mac as a downloadable game in the NeuroSky Store.

In Mindout the energy around the ball grows and shrinks to show you how high your real-time attention is. Your concentration is read using a brain-computer interface, a system that translates signals coming from the brain into something a computer can understand. To do this Dreams of Danu uses the commercially available MindWave controller by NeuroSky. This is a wireless headset that uses a sensor on the forehead to detect the small electrical signals that occur when we think about something or feel a certain way.

Shooting bricks to pieces with your thoughts

In Mindout you destroy bricks by bouncing a ball into them. This kind of game is well-know from retro arcade classics such as Arkanoid and Breakout. But in Mindout the player destroys bricks by using his or her mental powers. It’s playing by feeling. While playing, the player focusses on the ball to make his or her concentration as high as possible. The MindWave measures how strong the concentration is and this is reflected in the size of the explosion that the bricks are destroyed in.

First steps in the games industry

Mindout is officially the first game that the young studio has released. Dreams of Danu has since starting up grown out to be the first Dutch games studio that completely focuses on games that incorporate biofeedback. The specialization that they have built up is reflected in the quality of the game. The innovative use of the MindWave controller in the game Mindout provides an effortless and addictive gaming experience.

Dreams of Danu team: Wouter Ram, Floris Versendaal, Remi Newton, Jan Jonk
Dreams of Danu team: Wouter Ram, Floris Versendaal, Remi Newton, Jan Jonk

Research into the user experience

Mindout originated from the project that Floris Versendaal (25) graduated with as European Media Master of Arts in Gamedesign & Development. Together with Jan Jonk (29) they researched the use of sensors that read brainwaves en the use of this technology in games. What they found out was that a lot of research had gone into the technnology but not into how it should succesfully be used as a game controller. That’s why in the development of Mindout the team spent a lot of time researching the user experience that playing with your brainwaves gives. Over the last couple of months the game has been played with a large group of people that all had an influence on the final result. Mindout has been playable on several internationally oriented events in the Netherlands, including the Festival of Games, Cinekid, Game City, Indigo and DiGRA.

Most important features of Mindout

  • Control the game with your brainwaves
  • Easy and intuitive gameplay, with hard to master expert goals
  • 30 diverse levels spread out over 3 themes
  • 3 playable characters that each have a unique explosion
  • 3 specially balanced online highscore levels
  • Challenge your mind to gain the highest focus and the quickest reflexes
  • Beat highscores and earn bronze, silver and gold medals
  • Unlock levels, characters and game modes
  • Supported languages: English, Chinese (Simplified) and Dutch
  • Available for PC and Mac in the NeuroSky Store