We love Blokus. Love, love, love it. All too often, though, there are only two of us who want to play and I don't like to "rope off" an area to enable Blokus Duo. Enter Travel Blokus.
First off, a comment about the "Travel" bit. It is a great deal smaller than regular Blokus, which is important since that is not a game box you want to be lugging around. When I heard that Travel Blokus was available I immediately thought we'd see the same sort of packaging as with Travel Scrabble, with the nifty zippered case and all that good stuff. Not so - instead we have a stoutly built cardboard box. So I was a little disappointed but not that much, as the box is fairly compact and for $14 I suppose we cannot expect such a deluxe package.
Gameplay is pretty much the same as with Blokus - players alternate placing their pieces of various shapes and sizes onto the board in an effort to unload as many of your pieces as possible whilst also trying to limit your opponent's opportunities to do the same. The game pieces are made up of little squares with the smallest piece comprising one square and the largest being made up of five squares, all in a variety of configurations. The board, roughly half the area of that in Blokus, features a complimentary grid of squares with a raised grid to prevent the pieces from sliding around. Size and the number of players apart (Blokus accomodates up to four players) the only key difference is that Travel Blokus has players position their first piece quite near the center of the playing area - in the original recipe Blokus one starts in their "friendly" corner. This change gets the players right into their opponent's space that much quicker, and it's interesting to see whether a player will attack and begin trying to pen in their opponent right away, or if they will play more to the edges and avoid contact in the early going. I like to play it aggressively, heading straight in and trying to tie up my opponent, leaving some space in my "backfield" to throw down some pieces later in the game. Whether this works or not depends on my opponent! A different sort of challenge is presented with Travel Blokus - one does not have three other opponents' moves and strategies to contend with, but I find that you have to play a more active, attacking, style given the smaller playing surface
All in all I'm quite pleased with Travel Blokus. It's a good value for the money and is somewhat more portable than its big brother.