Memory Games on Netflix (2019)

Check out the documentary Memory Games on Netflix, featuring Yanjaa, Nelson Dellis, Johannes Mallow, and Simon Reinhard.

Glimpse into the brain’s vast potential for memorization through the eyes of four competitive memory athletes as they share techniques and insights.

Edit: here’s a direct link:

More info:

(It might already be available if you’re on the other side of the International Date Line.)


Yes, it’s already available for me. Looks great so far. It seems to be mostly in English, but the Netflix captions are useful for the parts in other languages.


Not available yet in France, can’t wait to Watch it !


Such a great Documentary! So many friends and familiar faces

Livan Grijalva

Fantastic documentary. And, yes, unless you’re multilingual, you’re probably going to want to turn on the captions.


1 Like

Yes not yet in France I’ve sent a request to Netflix…

1 Like

It’s a great documentary.

At one point, Simon Reinhard says, “In my system, number 86 is a coat of arms”. I wonder if it was before he switched to a 4-digit system or if it’s the image for 0086.

They continue showing images in an animated sequence, mixing 2- and 3-digit numbers. :thinking:

  • 86 coat of arms
  • 68 - ram
  • 41 - bicycle tire wheel
  • 734 - camera
  • 301 - transmission tower

A little later, Johannes Mallow gives a lecture on memory techniques and shows some “Zahlenform-System” images – I like them better than my number shapes:

  • 0 - egg
  • 1 - candle
  • 2 - swan
  • 3 - trident
  • 4 - chair
  • 5 - hand
  • 6 - curled snake
  • 7 - scythe
  • 8 - hourglass
  • 9 - balloon on a string

I thought it was those animated sequences—along with a very strong musical score—that really brought interest and excitement to what is, essentially, a movie about people thinking. :smile:

And I agree about some of those number shapes shown. I usually use rhymes for 1-10, but occasionally throw in a shape if I need one. I’ve never been happy with any of the shape suggestions I’d heard for 3 before (handcuffs, brassiere, etc.). But trident is perfect.



I’m looking at the list of images again and wondering if they are from a German Major System. I don’t know enough German to be sure.

  • 41 - bicycle wheel / RaD
  • 734 - camera / KaMeRa
  • 301 - transmission tower – would this be sendeMaST in German?
  • 68 - ram – if it’s a sheep, then SCHaF would fit 68.

I’m not sure about this one:

  • 86 coat of arms – das Wappen doesn’t seem fit, but maybe there is another German word for it.
1 Like

Unfortunately Memory Games doesn’t seem to be available here in Switzerland :confused:


No other word comes to mind right now :thinking: But maybe he has modified the Major System and uses different letters for 6 and 8?

1 Like

That could be it. It looks like w is commonly 8 in German. I changed 6 to b in my system because they look similar. Maybe he did that and kept p grouped with b, but then 68 wouldn’t fit Schaf.

Edit: or maybe it was constructed like Dominic O’Brien recommends, where the first numbers are filled out with an association system before trying to use letters/sounds.

It could have been a mix of various people’s images. If they were Simon R’s images (4-digit system), I wonder if he drops leading zeros on 1-, 2-, and 3-digit numbers.

1 Like

neither in France Silvio

1 Like

Why does “5” represent “hand”?

Is it based on “five fingers”, or some more esoteric connotation?



When I taught my grandfather the number shape system I let him come up with his own images and he instantly thought of “hand” for 5 because of the five fingers. I guess he wasn’t the only one. :grinning:


Here’s another show that covers memory: The Mind, Explained - Netflix Miniseries