I really don’t feel comfortable saying that I was playing with balls, but luckily in the game of Dimension, they’re called spheres!
Number of players: 1-4
Playing Time: 30 minutes
What’s the game about: A description from the publisher…
Dimension is a fast-paced, innovative puzzle game that takes place in three dimensions with 60 colorful spheres. All of the players play at the same time. Everybody tries to position the spheres on their trays to earn as many points as possible. The task cards indicate how the spheres must be placed to earn points: for example, exactly two orange spheres must be on the tray, black and blue must touch each other, and blue must not touch white. Complete these tasks while racing against the timer. You get a point for each sphere you use and a bonus token for using all five colors, but you lose two points for each task card you don’t follow correctly. Prove to your opponents that you are the master of multi-dimensional thinking!
Basic idea in my own words:
Dimension is a purely abstract game that’s really a puzzle game in a multi-dimensional space. Abstract games are not something I typically would play but this game was sent to me courtesy of the publisher and I was open to trying it. I’m glad I did!
The object of the game is to have the most points at the end of 6 rounds. Players get points by placing spheres out onto their individual boards and players lose points by not satisfying the task cards laid out in front of them. Players start the game with 10 points. I think this is the case so there’s points available to lose if you don’t satisfy a task card in the first round.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is, the big spheres that you’ll be playing with. In each round, players must use these spheres and satisfy randomly drawn task cards such as, “no two orange spheres can touch, you must have exactly 2 grey/white spheres and blue can’t touch black, just to give some examples.” Each round uses a sand timer (classic!) and by the end of each round, you must stop and count up points. The game is extremely simple that I think even my parents would get it. I even played the game with my young kids. While they didn’t care about the restrictions of the task cards, they enjoyed the game – it’s very tactile.
- Give each player a player board
- Each player places 3 of each color sphere into the tray slots at the bottom of the boards
- Shuffle the task cards and draw 6 and place face up within view of everyone
- Place the points in a separate pile and place the bonus markers in another pile
- Each player takes 1 points and places in front of them
How the game plays or, “a turn” (paraphrased):
A player turns over the sand timer and each player begins working on their individual boards to satisfy the task cards in front of them
When the timer ends, everyone stops!
Each player receives a point per sphere played on their board (maximum of 11)
Players work through each task card and see if they failed to satisfy the card. If you failed the card, you lose 2 points. Take those points and throw back into the general supply. If a player satisfied each task card and also happened to use at least one sphere of each color, that player receives a bonus marker.
At the end of the game, players count up their points and count up their bonus markers. For having no markers, you actually lose more points! The more bonus markers you have, the more points. The winner is then declared!
*Each separate category below has it's own ratings. The ratings are not cumulative*
Component Quality: 3/5
The components seem pretty nice. The spheres especially. However there was a couple white/grey ones that appeared to having some staining on them. The rest of the components from the rule book to the chits and cards seemed to be pretty standard faire made by most European publishers. There’s no real complaints.
I’m really not a fan of abstract games. I like games with themes, even euro games with pasted on themes. You don’t really play this game to be immersed into some universe, you play for the challenge of the puzzle.
Instruction Manual: 4/5
The rulebook gives good examples and seems to explain everything OK.
Luck Factor: 2/5
Besides the random draw of cards, there’s really no luck in this game. The crux of the game is how well you can puzzle through the task cards.
I know this is a simple abstract game that only lasts 30 minutes but there’s implicitly a lot of of strategy in this game because it’s a puzzle. This game all depends on your spatial reasoning skills (if that’s such a thing!).
Overall Feelings: 4/5
Dimension by Lauge Luchau is a perfect game for families and can absolutely be fun for the more seasoned gamer or rookie gamer. Because it's more of a puzzle game, you're always engaged, trying to figure things out. I love puzzles so this game resonates with me. But it's not too in depth that you don't have to play the game as long as the rulebook states (house rule). The game is short enough to wet the palette but long enough that it's a bit more than a filler. If you're looking for a puzzle/abstract game that can work with most anyone, give Dimension a try!
Thank you Kosmos for providing this review copy.
Michael Schroeder is a board game enthusiast, has written an eBook entitled, “Beyond Monopoly: A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Board Games” (Kindle, Apple iBook), is busy designing games and owns an eCommerce board game store, Meeple Village! He also has a podcast that complements this blog, “Board Game Dialog (also available on other podcast aggregators).” He is mike6423 on BGG.
~ Silence is sexy ~
A fun fact is that the prototype actually had a theme: It was called "When food touch" inspired by the many traps a parent can stumble into when trying to serve a dish of food to a child. The
ball sphere colors even matched 5 typical ingredients in a thanksgiving menu :-)