1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [6]

User Rating Comment Status
David Molnar
United States
Ridgewood
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
9
Feb 2009*
There's just a lot to learn here, and since I play games to learn, I'll play Dots and Boxes pretty much any time. (On paper, of course. The way I figure it, when I mark a game as owned, I'm saying if you come over my place, we might play this. So while the same pencil might be used, Boxes is owned, but Tic-Tac-Toe isn't.)

What makes Dots and Boxes attractive is that is has both strategy and tactics. The "chain rule" tells you how many chains you want to make in order to have control at the end, but it doesn't tell you how to make them, so there's still some tension. And since chain-counting is based on parity, you might change your goal midstream, going for say two chains instead of four.

Of course, since chain-counting is based on parity, the game has little clarity, which is its greatest drawback, and why it is often described as dry and boring. Nobody's going to peek over your shoulder while you're playing and note thoughtfully that it looks like there's going to be an odd number of chains. But so what. It's still a very interesting game.

I found two quotes in David Parlett's The Oxford History of Board Games, in relation to the game of Go, that describe what I like so much about Dots and Boxes:
David Parlett wrote:
To the non-player, the opening moves of a game between experts appears baffling in its inconsequentiality, each in turn placing a stone on the board apparently at random and with no discernable pattern or logic. Gradually out of the mists of formlessness, there begin to crystallize suggestions of small chains or groups...
(Unfortunately, most players of Dots and Boxes are "non-players" in this sense. And the crystallization process happens much quicker in Dots and Boxes, especially on the 5x5 grid that I'm used to from online play, but being less subtle than Go can hardly be considered an indictment.)

Later,
Quote:
The skill of the game, to experts, and its mystery, to non-players, lies in recognizing which areas are safe and which unsafe, and concentrating on the latter.
Possibly this is even greater an issue in Dots and Boxes, since at that stage of the game, the snippets of territory into which the board is divided do net yet belong to one player or the other. Sacrifice is incredibly important in Dots and Boxes, but this takes 50-100 plays to figure out.

I suspect that most variants, such as having different boxes carry different point values, are going to boil down to the same thing mathematically. I suppose once you've mastered a lot of openings, a little Hey-That's-My-Fish-style randomness in the setup could keep things fresh. Nowhere near there.
2009-12-06
Owned
Ralf Gering
Germany
Germany
flag msg tools
designer
8.5
Apr 2007*
Dots & Boxes is called Käsekästchen ("Little Cheese Boxes") in German. The game was invented by the famous French mathematician Edouard Lucas in 1889. The game is much deeper thank you think if you rate it just 5 or even below.
2007-04-28*
Owned
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
8
Nov 2006*
More than just the simple kids game you remember. I still haven't figured out all the strategies. See http://www.akpeters.com/product.asp?ProdCode=1292
2006-11-13*
origami freak
United States
flag msg tools
mb
8
Dec 2007*
I "own" this in the public domain sense - I have pencils and paper. :-)

Never fails to keep kids entertained quietly for at least an hour, and works well with the elderly, too. This is the last thing I ever played with my father when he was 95, and we enjoyed it.

You can print out grids if you go to this website: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/squaredots

For a fun variation, try triangular patterns: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/triangledots
2007-12-15*
Owned
Xavier Jiménez
Ecuador
flag msg tools
8
Jul 2014
Maurizio De Leo
United States
Minden
Nevada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7.5
Mar 2015
Played a lot in my childhood with paper and pencil and a diamond-shaped starting setup. If you play with the correct rules (not being forced to complete all the boxes) it is very deep in strategy and there is even a book on it (which I own).
However, I usually don't feel the desire to play this, while there are many more deep and abstract games that I love.
2006-02-27*
Owned
Àlex Sierra
Andorra
Barcelona
Catalonia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7.5
Mar 2007*
Owned
United States
Minden
Nevada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7.5
Jan 2012
A game unfairly judged by it's association with unendurable classroom boredom. Yes, it's usually played as a last resort (to avoid slipping into a coma during Social Studies, for instance), but if anything, that should be a testament to it's versatility and accessibility.

Much like those dry history lessons you willfully tried to ignore, the game is a lot more fascinating and complex than you probably gave it credit for.
2012-01-08
Adam Glass
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
7
Nov 2005*
Ron Pfeiffer
United States
Surfside Beach
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
May 2006*
A whole lot better than the rating number suggests. I don't own the game but I certainly have played the pencil and paper edition many times.
2006-05-07*
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
mb
7
Dec 2007*
Classic abstract strategy game, and very interesting from a mathematical Combinatorial Game Theory point of view. Of course I play with paper and pencil, and not a silly plastic set.
2007-12-13*
ronaldinho @boardspace.net
Taiwan
flag msg tools
mbmb
7
Nov 2008*
Very good game to get children thinking.

Many games of Nim interacting in a two dimensional grid at the same time.
2008-04-21*
Owned
Wouter
Belgium
flag msg tools
7
Oct 2011
Owned
Jiri Bauma
Czech Republic
flag msg tools
7
Feb 2012
C. C.
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
7
Mar 2012
Owned
sunday silence
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
7
Dec 2012
it has some relationship to Go, and you should play it where large boxes (more than four points) can also count. It is probably quite deep.
2013-05-29
Dave Heberer
United States
Redmond
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Sep 2006*
I'm not listed this as owned, since I have no published version of this game. However, I used to play this a lot with my mom or dad while waiting for food at a restaurant on the paper napkin always around in not so nice American restaurants.
2006-09-06*
koen verstraete
Belgium
ruddervoorde
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Sep 2006*
as a child I liked this game, so it's a bit of nostalgia.
2006-09-07*
Owned
Brad Oliver
United States
Glendale
Arizona
flag msg tools
mb
6
Nov 2007*
Bjorn Larsen
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Mar 2008*
Ava Rose Molnar
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
6
Jul 2009*
puzzle pieces
msg tools
6
Aug 2009*
Jan Bazynski
Poland
Warsaw
Mazowieckie
flag msg tools
publisher
mbmbmb
6
Nov 2009*
Dan
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Apr 2010
A quick little pencil and paper game like tic-tac-toe that you can play anytime. A good game to play with children with a little more strategy than tic-tac-toe.
2010-05-22
Dario Delfino
Italy
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
6
Jan 2010*
Paper and pencil used very well. Probably, if I played more, rated more
2010-04-11
Owned

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [6]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.