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Catchup» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A simple yet satisfying abstract game rss

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Catchup is a simple two player abstract board game. Your goal is to have the greatest connected area on the board. A simple enough concept to be sure. However, there is a surprising amount of depth in the simple choices of where to place your pieces.

A game in progress
image credit: nightcrawler79

The Hook
Honestly, there isn't a hook here. The game is as themeless as you can get. If you want a reason to play an abstract game outside of the mental exercise, you won't find it here.

The Presentation
The graphics for this game are as simple as they could be. You are placing hexagons on a hexagonal grid. They did add in the ability to change the colors of the board and pieces which is very nice. Make your game as drab or flashy as you want.

Full customization on color palate included

Game Play
When playing the game, the first person to play places a single piece on the board. Subsequent turns will see each player have the opportunity to place two pieces on the board. The app shows the size of each player's largest group at the top of the screen. Whenever a player makes their largest group larger than the other player's largest group, the next player will have the opportunity to place an extra piece. The decision on when to start connecting groups and giving your opponent extra turns is the heart of the strategy here.

You can play the game asynchronously with a friend, hot-seat or solo against an AI. The AI has 20 levels of difficulty which cannot be chosen. If you beat the AI, your next game will be at the next level of difficulty. If you lose, it will drop back down a level. This allows for a strong solo experience as you are always trying to move up in difficulty.

Game menu with an orange color scheme

The game ends when all the spaces are filled on the board. The player with the largest group wins. If there is a tie for largest, the second largest group serves as a tie breaker. if that is also tied, the third group is used, etc.

Game end scoring
image credit: nightcrawler79

Catchup is a game that is very simple to play, it is fast and a good brain break, particularly if you don't have a real life opponent handy. There is a depth in the strategy that is unexpected and thus, it is one of my goto apps for a 5 minute break. I hope you give it a try.
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