Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pieces are lovely, September 20, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Hive - The Original (Toy)
Hive struck me like a fresh new concept in tabletop gaming when I first ran into it at the manufacturer's own website. There, you could play the game against a robot that they said wasn't all that good a player. He taught me so much, beating me 15 consecutive times before I finally beat him.

Hive has tiles with special movement rules, like chess, but there is no "board". The first tile played in the game initiates "The Hive", and all subsequent play takes place on, or adjacent to, The Hive. The tiles depict bugs, and both players get a queen bee, 2 spiders, 2 beetles, 3 grasshoppers, and 3 ants. An expansion set gives each player a mosquito too.

Players take turns adding tiles to the hive. When adding a tile, it must touch already-laid tiles of your color and no tiles of the other color (except for player #2's first tile). During the first 4 moves, both players must add their queen bee to the hive. Once a player's queen bee is played, they may elect to move a tile rather than play a new one. Moving tiles are allowed to land next to the other color in a way that newly played tiles cannot. This decision about bringing a new piece into play or working with the pieces already in play is one small example of the strategy at play here.

The object is to completely surround the opponent's queen bee. Doesn't have to be all your tiles, but if she is surrounded you win. Don't let it happen to your queen bee! The game play is strongly oriented towards "1) Don't lose, 2) Win, if you can" That was the lesson of my first 10 games against the robot at the Hive site.

Ants can move anywhere on the outer perimeter of the hive - any distance. Spiders can do the same thing, but they must move exactly 3 hexes, no more, no less. Grasshoppers leap over the hive along hex lines to the first vacant space. Beetles can only move one hex in any direction, but they can crawl up onto the hive itself and move around on it. The piece they are sitting on is immobilized until they leave. The optional mosquito can move like any tile of either color that it is touching at the beginning of it's turn.

Enough about the game - it's a brilliant invention in game-play with really thought-provoking strategy. Its not a quick learn-and-play game. That said, it is a delicious long-term learn-and-play game - lots of "ah ha!" as I witness my own improvement as a player.

This product tho - WOW! These tiles are bigger than I expected - you can squint one like a monocle - and substantial like well-made dominoes, finger-tall. The hexes are white and black, each type of bug is painted into the recessed image in it's own color. The green-on-black grasshopper contrasted with the green-on-white grasshopper is very cool - these pieces are lovely.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 28, 2011 10:00:42 AM PST
R. Domenici says:
How do the mosquito pieces change the dynamics of the game? Does it make it harder?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 6:37:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2011 6:39:36 PM PST
DSMac27 says:
Mosquitoes make the strategy more complex and cripple your ability to look ahead as effectively. One aspect of strategy is keeping an eye on which bugs your opponent hasn't added to the hive yet. Once a mosquito is in play, it can beehive, er, behave like any piece it's touching, and that can change from turn to turn, so you're never sure what it will be next. In the end, I think it gives you more to think about, so in that sense, you might say it makes it "harder", especially the "1) Don't lose" part. - but it can be quite powerful too, so it could make "2) Win" easier. A stronger player could let a weaker player have a mosquito and leave his in the box as a form of handicapping, I suppose. In general, I think it makes for a longer, harder fought game. I hope that helps!
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