Does your family like abstract strategy games?
For those who are unsure, "abstract strategy" games are board games that aren't covered in theme. Game pieces are typically generic and players all begin on equal footing.
These type of games present challenges where players square off in a competition of wits. The game play revolves around how well players can maneuver their pieces to achieve the winning condition.
In the category of abstract strategy games, there are a lot of games where the winning objective is, "Get 5 in a row".
However, even though they have similar objectives, there's always a twist.
Perhaps you've played a number of such games.
We know we've played a bunch of them. And some of them are even in our Family Favorites.
If you like these type of games, we've got another game for you to check out: MOD X
Watch Caleb's video review of MOD X to see How to Play.
Can the whole family enjoy MOD X
As you can see in Caleb's video review, MOD X is a board game very suitable for the whole family.
We're not sure why the recommended age on the box is 15+ because the game is quite simple to understand and play.
Old and young players alike can enjoy playing the game.
However, like with most abstract strategy games, the best playing condition is when players are on similar skill levels. And also like similar games, the more someone plays the game, the more skillful they'll become at it.
Another things that makes MOD X enjoyable for families to play is that it's more than just a 2-player game.
Many abstract strategy games are designed for 2 players to go head-to-head. But we've found that MOD X is great to play with 2, 3, or 4 players.
In fact, we enjoy the additional thinking required when more players have their pieces on the board.
It's a fun mental challenge for all.
More than just 5 in a row
Like I mentioned in the beginning, there are many abstract strategy games that challenge players to get 5 pieces in a row to win. While we still think it's okay to place MOD X in a similar category, the game is much more than that.
Yes, getting 5 pieces in a row will give that player a scoring opportunity. But so will getting 5 of their pieces in the form of an "X" or a "+".
However, getting 5 pieces in a formation isn't even all there is to it.
Like Caleb demonstrated, once a player has made their formation, they remove the pieces used and replace them with scoring tokens in their color. But they need to keep going because scoring 5 points isn't enough!
Players must keep going to get even more scoring tokens on the board.
And while they're doing that, their opponents, in the process of scoring their own pieces can also cover up the previous player's scoring pieces. Thus, the scores fluctuate throughout the game. And holding your advantage is a key part of the game.
The back and forth nature of scoring keeps the game intriguing for all players because they know their disadvantage may only be temporary.
MOD X Game Components
We also like the high quality components in the MOD X.
It would have been easy for the publisher to scrimp on the game components. They could have used cardboard tokens and game board. But instead they've constructed a solid game board with dividers that keep the game pieces in place.
The game board is heavy plastic with rubber feet on it to both protect playing surfaces as well as keep it from sliding around.
Nicely done Cryptozoic Entertainment!
How does MOD X score on our "Let's Play Again" game meter?
MOD X scores very well on our "let's play again" game meter for a few reasons.
For starters, even though the game is a mental challenge, it doesn't take long to play. There also isn't much in the way of game set up. So it's really easy when one games ends to dive right into playing another.
Also, the back and forth nature of the scoring usually results in close games. So the player or players who get edged out in the end are anxious to give it another go.
And lastly, because it's fun!
We don't need a lot of theme to have fun playing a game. Sometimes it's great to just pull out a straight-forward game for a battle of wits.
And MOD X fits that bill nicely.
Thanks Cryptozoic Entertainment for a fun board game the whole family can enjoy!
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A list of all our family board game and card game video reviews can also be found on BGG in this Family Video Reviews GeekList.