Game Curmudgeon

A blog of lessons learned while designing board games in vain
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Musings on some light abstracts

Raymond Gallardo
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From gallery of rayzg

Your object is to get your piece in your goal or to push your opponents pieces into your goal. On your turn you roll four dice. You can either rotate or move one space every piece that corresponds to what you rolled. Then all your pieces move one space in the direction they're facing.

The game has a lot of luck and chaos, but that's the point! (I really like light abstracts.) But it's no Backgammon killer. There's very little forward planning. But games are about 15-20 minutes long.

I'd like to try the original version (4x4x4 board, six pieces each, 3 six-sided dice). It might be less chaotic, which would lose much of its charm, but it could be a perfect 10 minute filler!

From gallery of rayzg

I love mazes Especially if you can manipulate them! Unfortunately, there aren't many good ones out there, and this is no exception. It's a roll-and-move, except after moving your pawn, you get to move the tile that corresponds to your die roll. The game is really less about moving your pawn and more about building a path (because your opponent sent you to the opposite side of the board).

But like so many games from the 1960s, there's way too much take-that and not much strategy or meaningful choices. When you move a tile, you have to make sure it links up with at least one other tile. But there's not much tile diversity in the game, so often it's impossible to do on your turn. And once you have finally created a path to the finish dot, your opponent can so easily screw you over by luckily rolling the tile that corresponds to the one that you're on, and then sending you off to a faraway region of the board.

Sigh. I so wanted to like this game!

Board Game: Moguli

This game has by far the most unusable graphic design among all games! In this game, you have to get four of your pieces to the opposite side of the board. Your pieces must use paths that are marked underneath the tile! A little triangle indicates the orientation of the paths underneath the tile. If there's a triangle, then the paths underneath line up with the paths on top. If not, the the paths connect the other two sides of the tile instead.

Why couldn't they just print both types of paths on the top of the tile? Like this:
From gallery of rayzg

OMG this version is so much clearer to play!

It is a maze game where players can change it during play, but it's still just an OK game. The little puzzles to figure out how to create long paths get a bit repetitive -- there are only two kinds of tiles in the game. And it's still tough to visualize the impact of rotating a tile. As my friend and I are very casual players, we didn't think it was worth the effort to think too much ahead in this game.
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