Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Blokus 3D

I bought Blokus 3D (originally published as Rumis) in Melbourne recently. I quite like Blokus and I think I like Blokus Duo (which I play using my Blokus set) even more. I have played Blokus Trigon (pieces made up of triangles), but found it just OK. I have not tried Gemblo (pieces made up of hexagons) though. The 3D aspect of Blokus 3D intrigued me, and I have been considering buying it for some time. And when I stepped into Mind Games in Melbourne, I could not resist getting a game (or two - I visited them again two days later and bought Tribune). Mind Games has an excellent product range. Unfortunately game prices in Australia are high.

In Blokus 3D you get 11 3D pieces, as opposed to 21 pieces in Blokus. Your objectives are to place your pieces in such a way so that at game end as many "squares" of your colour as possible are visible from above; and you have as few pieces remaining as possible. The play area is, of course, in 3D now. There are 4 templates for play, unlike in Blokus where you have a fixed board. A template defines the base for the play area, and also height limitations, e.g. in one template you have to build a pyramid shape, i.e. the sides have the lowest height limitation, and the centre has the highest. Another difference compared to Blokus is that instead of having to touch your own pieces at the edges when playing a new piece, the restriction is you must touch at least one face of an existing piece.

Having played a few games, I find Blokus 3D to be quite interesting. Similar to Blokus, it can be played quickly in a relaxed manner, and can also be played in a thoughtful way. The feel is quite different though, in that now the focus is on visibility and not setting up your opponents to easily reach the top positions. However blocking is still very important, which I found out the hard way. In a 4-player game with Han, Sui Jye and Jing Yi, I was doomed after the first round because I had been blocked off complete by Han and Sui Jye. We were playing the pyramid template and I had been careless with my initial placement. Blocking is much more vicious with more players. With 2 players it seems to be not as easy to block your opponent.

The game in which I was blocked off after the first round. I had 8 pieces (out of 11) remaining. My score was -1.

I saw in the brochure that came with the game that Blokus has won so many awards. There are probably about 15 to 20 different awards. I wonder whether the publisher has been actively submitting the game for game award panels' consideration. Certainly winning so many awards is good for sales, and not that it's not a good game. It's just... so many...

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