Zendo is a game of inductive logic in which one player, the Master, creates a rule that the rest of the players, as Students, try to figure out by building and studying configurations of Icehouse pieces. The first student to correctly guess the rule wins.
Zendo is based on the Icehouse system, but was released as a standalone game in July 2003.
This game is played with the Icehouse pieces. I think its pretty good. Maybe its not quite an 8 but I think this game is worth drawing attention to. Its really quite different and therefore a excellent choice for the gamer who has everything. If you are looking to buy just a few good games then there are more obvious choices. However this game is well worth looking into.
After reading a couple of session reports for this game from the 2004 Gathering this game seems to be a shoe in for this list. I saw a movie from one of those session reports and I must admit, what I saw absolutely defied description!
Trying to find the container that has just the right number of beads that will allow you to move the desired number of spaces sounds rather bland! However, add in that you have to do this by shaking the container and listening adds an interesting touch. Then add in that all the players are doing this simultaneously and you end up with a game that defies description! A decidedly unique mechanism!