Hello! Welcome to this Deranged Review. After a few lighter games, it's time to tackle an abstract once again. Let's do something six-sided, in honour of the new release of Gipf and Yinsh. Something of substance...
Ah well who am I kidding, you've clicked on the link knowing which game was going to be in the spotlight here .
I'll be giving grades on several aspects of the game, such as discussed here.
For ART, I look at the big picture, and how that picture looks. EASE covers ease of play and learning curve, FLEXIBILITY covers the amount of free will you have and is therefore linked to replayability. FUN might be deceptive, as it's a gut thang, but I'll try and specify in the text, and COMPONENTS should be self-explanatory. I'll not say a lot about rules and specifics - you can find those out for yourself.
The Game Itself: Tigris & Abstract
Place dominoesque piece, score points! Highest lowest score wins!
-The art of this game is minimal, as with any abstract game. The symbols are colourful and very easily kept apart, though... so above average on average.
-The game has very few rules but is very entertaining nonetheless. Sometimes simplicity is its own difficulty, and Genius/Ingenious (#1) delivers on that promise in that it's easy enough to play confidently, but as that's true for everyone, you'll need to actually be better than the rest.
The bihexes' placement will probably not confuse anyone after the first five minutes, and maximising profit will come soon after.
-Ingenious is game of putting down pieces and scoring points, and as such lacks the tactical flexibility of a game like Yinsh. It's still a fairly deep game and there's some manouvrability, but it's mostly a race of making sure you get the most points.
Among the options to annoy others are cutting off growth potential for colours you're already done with, or snipping new growth in the bud or unlocking it. It's not much when compared to the likes of Chess, but that's a bit high to aim for in any case.
-It's a well-made multiplayer abstract. It's a nice game to play and I certainly enjoy playing it, but it goes a bit far to say it's fun - but such is the curse of heavier games in general ^^. Perhaps I should just rename this subect...
In short, it's pleasant to play, as it offers mostly the same chances for everyone, is easy enough to understand on a certain level, is rather elegant, and weaves together pieces of Rummikub, Dominoes, Tigris & Euphrates and something with lines, and turns it into something you can easily play and enjoy with the whole family.
-This kinda depends on your version, as should be expected by now. I've seen a version with thick cardboard bihexes which could stand in slots in the board, and one with hard plastic pieces with a stand to hold'm, Rummikub style.
They're both certainly acceptable, though .
There's better options with 2 players - but then again few with 3 or 4.
It's one of the very few abstracts you can play with more than 2 people, and that's quite the achievement. It's also over in about 45 minutes, keeps everyone involved and can be played with very nearly anyone.
I admit, it's been a few years since I've played it - but the feeling remains. It's essentially a severely stripped down version of Tigris & Euphrates, but where T&A requires much thought and contemplation and analysis of the ever shifting sands of power, (In)Genius only requires you to pay attention to the Here & Now, and how to score the points you need to score. This makes it better suited for an evening with the whole family or some friends than Tigris would be (#2). It still offers you opportunities to make great plays, but that won't have the massively punishing impact Tigris has - where a player's powerbase can just come crumbling down with one move.
It's the working man's thinking game. And I mean that in a very good way - it mixes the approachability of Carcassonne with the seal of approval of Mensa. 's not easy to achieve that .
As usual, please give your opinion in the comments .
Oh, by the way, I am Deranged. I like to have fun with (and around) boardgames, and have played many of them over the years. I've been furniture in my FLGS for years ^^. I tend to like old games; well, I tend to like good games, most of which have been around for bit ^^. I've written 78 reviews as of yet, which you can access here, and a handful of random topics discussed here. If you want me to write a review for you or recommend me a game, there's this neat little envelop near my avatar!
#1: Is that the same deal as with flammable/inflammable?
#2: Depending on the family, of course.
Fine review, I think it's an excellent two-player game though (there is a travel edition which supports only that).