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- A challenging game of wits
- Designed by the legendary Reiner Knizia
- For Ages: 10+
- Number of Players: - 4
- Playing Time: 45 min
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Ingenious is the new abstract placement game from internationally-renowned game designer Reiner Knizia. Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring points, blocking opponents' tile placement, and trying to protect themselves from being blocked by their opponents. Marvelously elegant and compulsively replayable, Ingenious is an excellent introduction to German-style abstract board games. It's ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious!
From the Manufacturer
Ingenious is the new abstract placement game from internationally-renowned game designer Reiner Knizia. Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring points, blocking opponents' tile placement, and trying to protect themselves from being blocked by their opponents. Marvelously elegant and compulsively replayable, Ingenious is an excellent introduction to German-style abstract board games. It's ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious! Ingenious is suitable for up to four players, as well as for solo play.
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|Sold By||Owl Central||Brooklyn Toys||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Avalanche Brands||Math for Love|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.75 x 3 x 11.75 in||2.5 x 13 x 13 in||8 x 12 x 1.5 in||1.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||10.5 x 10.5 x 2.7 in||10 x 10 x 2.8 in|
|Item Weight||3.35 lbs||1 lb||1 lb||1.19 lbs||2.45 lbs||1.2 lbs|
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The cool part is that that game board has different boundaries depending on how many people you're playing with (2, 3, or 4). Although this is simplified, you score points based on how many adjacent shapes of the same color match the tile you just played. You have to actively score points for all six different colored shapes. The scoring mechanic is very unique in that your end score is the lowest score out of all the six different colors that you have personally gained. So you cannot focus all your efforts on just a few of the colors, because if you neglect to pay attention to the yellow pieces (for example), you're going to end up with a very low score. This adds a competitive edge to the game because if there aren't a lot of a particular color on the board, numerous players will all be trying to get near that color in order to score points for that particular color category.
Note: There are some differences between the printed versions of the game. It seemed that most of the game sets I was seeing in youtube videos had plastic tiles and movable scrabble-esque stands where every player would line up their private tiles. However, in this version of the game, the tiles are all printed on cardboard. This is not bad, per se, but when playing with young children you simply have to take more care that the tiles don't get bent or ruined by a spilled cup. As well, there are not individual tile stands. Instead, there are little rectangular slats cut into each of the 4 sides of the game board itself, so you have to insert your pieces upright like little monoliths or tombstones in front of you, and the neighboring players won't be able to see them since they'll only be facing you.
I honestly didn't think that matching colored shapes would be fun. I was genuinely surprised by how deep this game is while managing not to lose its simplistic innocence. You'll notice right away that Ingenious is sharp and colorful. The game comes with a velvet bag of playing tiles, a set of racks, a playing board, and set of cardboard scoring sheets and pegs.
Each player receives a rack and six tiles. The tiles are kept hidden from the other players. Players also receive a scoring table and one colored peg for each column, representing their score for each colored shape.
The board itself is hexagonal in shape. You'll also notice that the areas on the two outside "rows" are shaded two different colors and the majority of the board (the inside) is white. Two players will use the spaces in the white portion only, three players will include the spaces in the second to last shaded area, and four players will include ALL spaces.
There are six different colored shapes in this game. As players lay their tiles on the board, taking turns, one at a time, they'll be scoring (moving) the appropriate colored pegs on their scorecard. The amount of points you get is based on how many not only border the same colored shape you just placed, but how many are matched up in a row. Players do not count the colored shapes that they just placed as part of the score.
For example, if there were four purple circles in a row and I placed a tile that added a fifth purple circle to that row, I'd score four points plus whatever other colors bordered that tile that were of the same color. If any of those had a row of tiles of the same colored purple shape, I'd score those too.
You perform the same scoring procedure for the other hex on your tile, you score your points, and the turn ends. If you manage to get any one of your colors up to 18, the highest on your scorecard, you get a free turn.
Here's the kicker...your final score is NOT the combined total of all of your points from the six columns of colored shapes...it is whatever the LOWEST score you have showing in one of the columns. If you had 15 red, 14 blue, 12 green, 18 orange, 15 yellow, and 2 purple...your final score would be 2.
This opens up a bit of strategy...do you try to focus on one color and quickly build it up or focus on some or all of them at once and slowly build them up? Also, if you see your opponent(s) has a low score of one color, you could try to place your tiles in such a way that cuts off everyone from connecting to it.
The hardest part of this game is getting used to the scoring mechanic. Once you are onboard with it, it takes maybe five seconds to add everything up. Annoyingly, moving pegs on your scorecard can be a chore for fat fingers...I personally do away with the pegs and keep track on paper. I simply write down the player's name and assign one line of each color going down. As players score on a color, I'd add the points to the existing number, write down the sum, and cross out the old number. One of these days I plan to create an Excel sheet anyone can print out and use.
I highly recommend this game for its simplicity and strategy factor. It also happens to be one of the most requested in the house by the thirteen and ten-year old when we hold a game night. It may not appeal to hardcore gamers that prefer spending entire weekends playing Risk, but for families looking for an easy game to play on game night, you can't go wrong with Ingenious.
My only complaint about the game is that the tiles can slide all over, since there are no grooves in the board. It's not that big of a deal, but can be problematic if people tend to jostle the table (or you're a bit fussy and want things to stay neat).
The only reason I don't give this game top marks in everything is that it has a crummy board -- to fit in the box it folds up flat. But a flat board and tiles don't go together well -- it's easy to shift the tiles and mess up the board, especially if you're trying your tile in a couple of spots to figure out which would score better. Not unlike Scrabble. But that's why Scrabble came out with a ridged board to keep the already played pieces from sliding. If INGENIOUS becomes a big hit, maybe there will be a deluxe edition with a better board.
But the game is great. There is also a iPhone/iPod version of the game, where you can play against different levels of computer players. And you don't have to worry about the tiles sliding! Warning: It can become addictive.
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