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Go to the Blokus page


60 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

Simple Rules, Complex Strategy, it’s a concept that has led to many fantastic games and Blokus is no exception. It is very easy to learn and plays pretty quick (20 minutes or so) so it’s a great game for non-gamers but has enough strategy to keep avid gamers interested.

There are several things to consider before every move in Blokus. Do I want to get get another five square tile down before I run out of room later? Is it more important to block off the corners of my opponents nearby pieces so they can’t build off of them? Should I protect territory that I could freely build in later form my opponents or try and break into their territory?

One thing worth noting is that although there are three player rules where each player takes turns placing a piece of the fourth color each round, it really isn’t that great because whoever is opposite the dummy player has a clear advantage. Blokus is still an excellent game that is best enjoyed with four players.

Go to the Hive page


79 out of 87 gamers thought this was helpful

Hive is often described as “chess with bugs.” I won’t lie, I’ve used that description with uninitiated players as well. It does borrow several game mechanics from chess. The different bug pieces all have individual rules that govern how they can move and the goal of the game is to trap the other queen bee of the other player.

As far as strategy goes, the game is top notch. It seems that every time I come up with a new tactic for attacking my friend’s queen, he is able to figure out a way to counter my method within a game or two (and vice versa). This is a testament to just how balanced and well thought out the allowed movements for each piece type are. Nothing is “broken” here. Games typically last less than 20 minutes so it definitely invites playing several times in a row.

One thing worth noting: A common rule variation states that the Queen cannot be placed on the first move. This will make more sense once you’ve fully learned the rules of the game. I’ve found that when playing without this rule a few too many games end in draws for my liking, so I’d definitely recommend using this variant after you get more familiar with the game.

The game also comes with very nice, thick ,and sturdy pieces to play with as well as a nice zipper bag that is perfect for travel.

Two expansions have been released: the lady bug and the mosquito. These are just two new bug types with their own movement patterns and do add quite a bit to the game. Because of this I would recommend buying the Hive Carbon edition, which includes these two expansions and generally does not cost much more than the original edition. The Carbon edition is also all black and white, as opposed to the multicolored pieces included in the original. I think these black and white pieces look much nicer but that’s just a personal preference so you may think otherwise.

Go to the Kingsburg page


107 out of 119 gamers thought this was helpful

Kingsburg is a pretty great worker placement game. Basically each turn all players roll three dice and then compete to place these dice to influence the king’s advisers (numbered 1-18). The catch is that each adviser can only be influenced once per turn so choosing an adviser to influence depends heavily on what the players ahead of you have rolled as well. Different advisers give you different amounts of resources, attack strength, or victory points. There are modifiers and catch up mechanisms in between each season of the game and at the end of the year each player must have enough fight strength to combat a monster, which will get stronger and stronger throughout each of the games five years. Resources are used to buy different buildings, which all come with their own special abilities and earn the player victory points. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of five years.

The heavy use of dice might scare some people off don’t like too much luck involved in a board game, but Kingsburg actually handles this pretty well. Even rolls with low totals can end up getting a couple resources on a turn. The only rolls that are really terrible are rolls where all three dice are the same (1,1,1; 2,2,2; etc.) because they severely reduce your adviser options.

The only real issue with the base game of Kingsburg is that after a couple games you’ll likely realize that there are only one or two good strategies, so the game can get stale pretty quickly. I find that when I play with my friends who have played quite a bit we all end up with nearly identical build patterns by the end of the game. However, the expansion “To Forge a Realm” addresses this issue and adds much more variety, extending the lifetime and fun you’ll get out of Kingsburg.

Overall I would definitely recommend Kingsburg, but be weary that you’re definitely going to want to pick up the excellent expansion at some point.

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