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Subject: It can't be a Blokus clone. It came first. rss

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Tomello Visello
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Reston
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I have the Kenner edition with the blue and yellow playing area and the overdressed people on the cover. Other comments say the packaging is ugly while I have always thought it was just silly. As in, “who could they possibly think is going to find this seductive?” But didn’t Mastermind have the same thing on its cover? And something somewhat comparable, in artwork rather than photography, even for Acquire?

My disappointment was more about the board being serviceable but not particularly substantial. Then again it was being sold in a mass-merchandiser, discount toy store when I got it. Ready for Christmas and stacked high. Completely unknown but priced in my temptation range.

Contemporary players will examine the game pieces and immediately think of Blokus. So what is a comparative description?

-- The game starts in the middle rather than the corners.

-- The game pieces DO touch edge-to-edge (was I caught off balance with Blokus because I knew Skirrid first? Or was that everybody’s reaction).

-- Follow-on play extends from any game piece, not just your own color.

-- Generally, game pieces are only played “right side” up.


You score every turn for all the numbers that lie beneath your game piece. These numbers extend throughout the entire board on alternating spaces. Higher numbers exist at the outer edges. Some game pieces have a multiplier of 2 or 3, which benefits you for a particular number that sits exactly below it.

The tension (and time consumption) comes not simply from trying to find the maximum score for one of your pieces, but additionally from trying not to give away some good numbers to your opponent. Some 10 point squares exist on the inner playing area (where you are restricted for initial turns in a two-player game). You may want to move quickly toward them, but you dare not get too close and let your opponent collect them.

A method of blocking exists to help cope with this problem, but there is a price to be paid. By placing your piece upside-down (which may or may not change which scoring numbers you cover, depending on the piece) your opponent may not play next to it for one turn. You essentially reserve it for yourself when you next play again but at the cost of scoring only half points for the inverted piece. Do you have a well positioned 3x multiplier still in your stockpile?



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Nick Bentley
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Madison
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People have been designing games and puzzles using blokus-like pieces for well more than a century, and there are piles of games using them. The general term for these kinds of pieces is polyominoes. Math types love 'em. A google search will reveal gads of information. It's surprising to me that it took this long for a polyomino-based game to become as popular as blokus has. Probably reflects the fact that alot more goes into making a game popular than just the game itself.
 
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Lewis Goldberg
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Bonnots Mill
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Boy the way Glenn Miller played // Songs that made the Hit Parade // Guys like us we had it made // Those were the days.
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The description blurb for this game says it's a "distant relative of Scrabble". The only similarity I can see is "squares on the board" and "scoring". Well, heck ... darn near everything's a distant relative of Scrabble, then!

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John "Omega" Williams
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milomilo122 wrote:
People have been designing games and puzzles using blokus-like pieces for well more than a century, and there are piles of games using them. The general term for these kinds of pieces is polyominoes. Math types love 'em. A google search will reveal gads of information. It's surprising to me that it took this long for a polyomino-based game to become as popular as blokus has. Probably reflects the fact that alot more goes into making a game popular than just the game itself.


Tetris caught on big time in arcades and PCs and laid the groundwork for board games. It was inevitible someone would try a tetris-esque board game again. Skirred just kinda beat several to it. But never caught on.
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