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Subject: Family face time with Blokus rss

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Mike Romigh
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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This review will aid mom or dad in determining whether Blokus is right for your gang. There wil be some general gaming information found, but most points of the review will be for a family. I found Blokus in December when looking for a family game to put under the tree. Our kids are 12, 10 and 5 and wanted something light enough that we could all play, but challenging enough to introduce them to deeper games and show them there is gaming life beyound Life.

First Impressions
Very eye catching cover. Not only are the colors and (some) shapes of the game represented, but a number of award insignias are prominently displayed. Mensa, Dr. Toy, Toy of The Year all convinced me I was on the right path. The back cover shows the game in progress. I thought "Cool, Tetris, I'll get it." The back cover also lists number of players, game time, and the object of a game. All easy to understand and clearly marked.

Components
Richly colored, multi-sized and shaped pieces. Very thick and sturdy with a little weight to 'em so when your 5 year old takes your spot on the board, they travel nicely when thrown. The board is simple...a grey grid, positively etched so the pieces fit securely in their place.

Instructions
Not much to the booklet...doesn't need to be. As a matter of fact you can learn to play the game from the back of the box. A huge draw for a family. A game you can explain on the fly and see the kids learn it very quickly.

Set-up
Not much to do. Break the game out of the box, give each person...4 players...a color group of pieces. Put the board in the middle of the playing area. I tell ya, there are few things in life as satisfying to a dad as seeing his kids get into something that he was hoping they would get into.

Theming
Squares. Lots of 'em. Consistent throughout.

Art
uh...squares?!?!...no, wait...The pieces are red, blue, green and yellow...and transperent so when holding blue and yellow back to back, you make green. A hit with our five year old. I guess that's art.

Gameplay
Very simple to learn, but you'll find the charm of Blokus after a few moves. The peices are 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 'units' in size, all differently shaped. Within each color group there are no identical pieces. However, red is the same as blue, which is the same as green is the same as yellow. As the game progresses the available space on the board disappears and the larger, 5 and 4 unit pieces become harder, if not impossible to play. The game continues until players can no longer play their pieces and are out of the game. When the last piece is played, every player counts the remaining units left on their pieces. Least units left, wins.

Length
The game takes about 30 mintues, obviously depending on who you're playing with. For the deep thinkers and brain busters an egg timer may need to make an appearence.

Gamer Appreciation
For the hard-core it'll be a take-it-or-leave-it game at best.
The casual gaming group will undoubtedly find this enjoyable. As much as I hate to suggest it, this would be a fun game at a party night. The only down-side to this is that it's a 4 player game.
Families and inexperienced gamers will find this game on the table often.

Replay
Very high. My kids want to play this game every day. The great part about it is this game will be different every time you play it.

Fun
Lots of fun with Blokus. Our 5 year old declares at the outset who she's going after and does everything within her power to knock 'em out. Most of time she does alot of damage, but invariably takes herself out. The entire process is so funny and she's enjoying herself the entire time, so much so that she doesn't even care she's done. Let me make one thing clear...this game is not a 'just for kids game'. Adults will have a great time playing.

Kid Friendliness
You bet. Whether StrataGems - the designer - intended to or not, this is who the game was made for.

Was it worth the dough?
Blokus has already earned it's weight in gold with our family. I can see this game being played for years to come...maybe not as much as we've been playing it since Christmas, but it'll make regular appearances, I'm sure. Most definitely worth the money spent.
 
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L. B. M.
United States
Fairborn
Ohio
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Nice review!

I agree this game is great for families since it's easy to learn and has eye-catching pieces. I have a love for abstract games and any tile laying games - so this one is great for me.
 
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