Glass Bead Board Games
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Designer: Kris Burm
Year released: 1994
Time: 5-15 minutes
Key Words: Dexterity, Abstract, Flicking
Flix is an early game by Kris Burm, better known for designing the GIPF Project series of abstract games. The board itself is made up of three parts, which slot together simultaneously; assembling the board can be pretty tricky, but does get easier the more that you do it. The underside of the board is held up with six wheels, allowing it to be rotated and moved between player turns. The game is made up of big chunky plastic components, using a fair amount of table and shelf space; but does maintain a robust, high quality feel.
How does it work?
Players each control nine coloured balls, split into three groups spread around the coloured outside spaces of the board. Each player has a paddle of their allocated colour, and must in turn flick their coloured balls around the game board. Each section of the board is split into triangles, and the paddle must be able to rest into one of the triangular spaces; meaning that controlling the direction of the coloured ball becomes particularly difficult. The aim of the game is to create a solid large triangle out of four pieces, as shown in the picture below. This triangle can not be placed over any of the coloured outside spaces. If a player flicks a ball and it lands out of play, or lands in a space containing a previously flicked piece, then the ball is returned to the space that it was flicked from and the turn is lost.
My thoughts on the game
Flix is a light hearted dexterity game, with a subtle abstract strategy feel to it. The flicking dexterity element is simple enough, taking a little practice to figure out exactly how hard to flick the little paddles without sending your coloured balls into orbit. The fact that the paddles must settle into one of the three sides of a space before flicking restricts the way that a ball can be flicked to three directions; resulting in the game having an abstract strategy element in relation to the positioning of the coloured balls. Players will often find themselves balancing having to block the opponent, while creating opportunities around the board to achieve a win condition. Occasionally, one can get lucky and have the ball bounce perfectly off part of the board to achieve a serendipitously beneficial shot. Flix has a good balance of luck, skill and simplicity that leaves players wanting to play again as soon as a game has finished. The rules are simple enough that the game can be taught to new players in less than a minute; and can be enjoyed equally by casual gamers and by more committed gamers.
What is the verdict?
My view is that Flix is a superb dexterity game, and is profoundly underrated. I'm yet to find a player that hasn’t enjoyed the game yet, with a couple of my friends buying copies of their own. You can find this game pretty easily on ebay, charity shops and car boot sales; I know that I have spotted it in all three places on several occasions. There was a second edition, published 2010 in Holland with a slightly different game board, but I’m yet to find a copy to add to my collection; I’m guessing that it was a fairly small print run. If you are a fan of Kris Burm’s games, or a fan of dexterity games in general, then Flix might be a nice addition to your game collection. I would strongly recommended tracking down a copy.
BGG Score - 9/10