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4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • GAMES Magazine Best Abstract Strategy Game 2001
  • International Gamers Awards Best 2-Player Game Nominee 2001
  • Spiel Des Jahres Nominee 2000
  • MENSA Best Mind Game 2000
  • 2 Players, Ages 12 and Up, 15 Minutes
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Product Description

Zertz is a fast, dynamic game for 2 players. It is played with marbles on a board that gets smaller and smaller. The aim is to capture a certain number of marbles. To capture you must jump over adjacent marbles as in Checkers. Players: 2 Ages: 12 and up Playing Time: 15 minutes

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.2 x 1.7 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Origin: Russian Federation
  • ASIN: B000AM2LJQ
  • Item model number: 166230
  • Our recommended age: 9 - 12 years
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 12 years and up
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,942 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Top Customer Reviews

Length: 4:20 Mins
I really liked this game. I think you'll like it, too. This is a really fun strategy game that has some similarities to checkers. It's a ton more fun than checkers, though, and there's a lot more strategy possible.

It takes place on a hexagonal grid of washers. In each move, you either place a marble and remove a washer, or you move the marbles to capture another marble. Capturing is just like checkers, where you capture by jumping over. And, if you can jump, you have to jump, but you often have a lot of choices about what you can jump.

A fun and unique thing about this game is that the playing surface gets smaller the more that you play, because you keep taking away the washers. So, it's a little like trying to survive on a sinking island, and trying to grab all of the marbles before the island sinks.

Rule summary:
*No one owns any of the marbles, until they're captured
*Win by capturing most of the marbles: 4 of the 6 white, 5 of the 8 grey, or 6 of the 10 black. You can also win by capturing three of each kind.
*The game surface is washers that need to be arranged in a hexagonal pattern. They can be any size (larger is harder), as long as it's hexagonal.
*Option #1 for your turn: Place a marble, and remove a washer. You can place a marble anywhere you want, and you can remove any washer you want that doesn't have a marble on it, as long as the washer is on the outside. You have to be able to slide the washer out, without disrupting the other washers. That's the definition of "outside."
*Option #2 for your turn: Jump a marble. You have to do this if you can. If there is a marble next to another marble with an empty washer on the other side, then you jump the marble, and you capture the marble that you jumped, just like checkers.
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Comment 14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Kawaika on May 21, 2014
Verified Purchase
I own all the GIPF Project games (except the excommunicated TAMSK), but ZÈRTZ is the first game I played in the series and it seems to stand a little taller than the rest of the excellent games. ZÈRTZ combines several interesting elements to create a brain burning game: an ever-shrinking board, difficult sacrifices, forced captures, and multiple winning conditions. Each of these elements ratchets up the pressure every turn until finally one player wins in an explosion of captures.

Strictly speaking ZÈRTZ is not played on a board, but several rings laid out in a hexagon. One of the things I like about the GIPF games is that most of them have the sleek, artistic look of some Apple products, but thankfully sans technofascism. Almost every turn players will remove one of the outer rings from play. The “board” is small enough as it is and it keeps getting smaller as more and more pieces are added. It is difficult to describe the danger and pressure one feels with several marbles on the board and half the board is missing. The turns leading to the endgame make me claustrophobic.

The sacrifices players have to make in order to win can be downright brutal. It is impossible to win the game without sacrificing pieces to the other player. Each capture a player makes brings him closer to victory, but not necessarily as close to victory as his opponent. It is possible to recover from a string of lesser captures, and one of the strengths of ZÈRTZ is that even if you lose it feels as though you still accomplished something because you at least have a bunch of captured marbles on your side of the table.

There are three different colors of marbles that players can place on the board and their importance all depends on the circumstances of the game.
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I have played games that the playable area on the board gets smaller as the game progresses, but in this game the board literally get's smaller. When I first unpacked the game, I thought the board was missing, until I realized that the pieced were the board. I haven't played any game like it, so it's really hard to compare it.

I really like all the games that I have played so far in the Gipf project. The rules are very well thought out and balanced. I gave this project 4 stars, because I gave my favorite gipf project game, Dvonn 5 stars.

All the games are made of excellent quality and the pieces have a really nice heavy feel. One story I would like to share is that my game was missing 4 marbles. I decided to email the game publisher before going through the trouble of packing it up and returning it to Amazon. I emailed them on a Sunday afternoon, they responded with an apology on Monday morning, mailed out the replacement marbles that same day, and I received them in the mail one week later. That was it; no questions asked...nice and simple. It's good to see that customer service is not lost on everyone. Thanks to Donco and Smart publishing for your help.

So if you would like to support the little guys and also get to play some great games, I definitely recommend the games in this project. [...]
1 Comment 8 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Zertz is one of those 2-player games that is simple (and I mean simple) to learn, but very strategic and engaging. I've had it on the shelf for months, finally pulled it down, and we haven't stopped playing.
It is played on a hex-shaped checker board. Players jump and capture pieces, but you are both playing with the same pieces. In the meantime, the board shrinks as you remove spots. You can win by having 3 of each of the three colors, or 4, 5 or 6 of one particular color, which means that your strategy can change during play in response to conditions and opportunities. This is a classic. I just can't say enough about it.
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