Blokus (officially pronounced “Block us”) is an abstract strategy game with transparent, Tetris-shaped, colored pieces that players are trying to play onto the board. The only caveat to placing a piece is that it may not lie adjacent to your other pieces, but instead must be placed touching at least one corner of your pieces already on the board.
In Battle Sheep (first released as Splits), players start the game by constructing the board from identical four-hex tiles, then each player places his/her tall stack of discs on one of the border hexes. Players take turns removing some number of discs from the top of one of their stacks, moving that new stack of discs as far away as it can go in a straight line. Players must leave at least one disc behind when moving, so the board gradually fills up and movement opportunities become more and more scarce. The player occupying the most spaces at the end of the game wins!
Quarto! has a 4×4 board and 16 pieces. Each piece has four dichotomous attributes – color, height, shape, and consistency – so each piece is either black or white, tall or short, square or round, and hollow or solid. The object is to place the fourth piece in a row in which all four pieces have at least one attribute in common. The twist is that your opponent gets to choose the piece you place on the board each turn.
A beautiful and beautifully simple game of laying a tile before your own token to continue its path on each turn. The goal is to keep your token on the board longer than anyone else’s, but as the board fills up this becomes harder because there are fewer empty spaces left… and another player’s tile may also extend your own path in a direction you’d rather not go. Easy to introduce to new players, Tsuro lasts a mere 15 minutes and actually does work for any number from 2 to 8.
In Quartex, players take turns placing a tile next to other tiles already in play, growing an expansive tile field on the table. Each tile depicts one-quarter of a symbol on each corner. When you place a tile, the corners of your tile must match the corners of the adjacent tiles. If your tile provides the fourth corner of a shape, thereby completing it, you earn a point token of that color. At the end of your turn you draw a new tile, and the game ends once all the tiles have been placed or no one can add a tile to the field.