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Subject: Cubed: A Review rss

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Patrick Hickey
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Alright, this is my second Blue Panther game reviewed. There's a whole pile of these in my game club's closet, and I'm hoping to work through them all eventually.

Short summary for those without attention spans- Cubed is a fun little strategy game. Don't get turned off by the fact that the starter game rules are pointless. The advanced rules are quite fun.

Components

One wooden board, which is a 5 x 5 grid.
A bunch of dice in four colors. The dice have rocks, paper, and scissors on them, 2 each.

The Rules

Sub-Basic Game

Lay the pieces on the board, one by one, until the board is filled on all but the center square. On your turn, you may do one of three things. You may move a piece in a straight line through open spaces until it reaches the end of the open spaces (so if there are 3 open spaces to the left of a piece, you must move 3, you may not move 2), you may rotate a piece so that a new face is up, and you may capture an adjacent piece. You can only capture immediately adjacent pieces, and you may only capture them if the piece you're moving beats theirs. So a scissors piece could move on space into the square of a paper piece, and capture it.

In a sub-basic game, the player with the most captured pieces wins.

The sub-basic game is kind of pointless.

In a basic game, all the rules stay the same except that each player chooses a color. They may only move pieces of their color. Any colors not chosen by a player (for example, in a 3 player game, 1 color will not be chosen) simply lies on the board inert, awaiting capture. Winner is still the one with the most captured pieces.

The basic game is actually cool. You have fewer moves, but what you choose to do becomes more important. There are more options for tactical play, and you have to play defensively, because the fewer pieces you have remaining on the board, the fewer your options. I like the basic game.

The advance game retains all the same rules, except that you may capture a piece not only if the top side of your piece beats the top side of your victim, but also if the side of your dice facing your intended victim beats the side facing back.

This... makes the game quite hard. It adds a LOT of information for you to track.

My Take

I actually liked Cubed. I'd play it again. It felt a lot like Tally Ho! from Kosmos, but different enough to be worthwhile. The small size of the components, and their durability, makes me think this might be worth taking along when traveling or camping.

My only quibble is the initial game setup- If you don't want to be too competitive about the game, just set up randomly. Roll all the dice, and shove them into place. Then pick a color at random. It changes the game a bit. Instead of setting up kills while you're opponent sets up counter kills, then reenacting on the board what you planned in your mind during setup, you have to play a more adaptive game. I'd give my setup rules a shot, particularly during your first few games.
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Steve Jones
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I agree that the basic game in Cubed is not a challenge for a seasoned gamer. It is aimed at the younger crowd - simple rules, simple goals - it's never too early to get kids interested in dice! In fact, it's my favorite game to bring to picnics since there's always a few kids who are interested in trying it out.

Steve Jones
Blue Panther LLC
 
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Steve Jones
United States
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Oops - replace "basic" with "sub-basic" in my last post and it makes more sense.

Steve Jones
Blue Panther LLc
 
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Patrick Hickey
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In retrospect, I think you called it "Introductory" in the rules. I couldn't remember for sure, so I made up my own names.
 
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