With a grinding of gears and some uneasy rumbling, Aperture Laboratories has resumed testing! Your team of test subjects has entered the Lab and is ready to perform all sorts of important, dignified, and dangerous testing procedures…all in the pursuit of cake! It’s a fun and funny fast-paced fight to the finish — and by finish, we mean your team probably died.
By all appearances, it’s just two players taking turns laying stones on a 19×19 (or smaller) grid of intersections. But once its basic rules are understood, Go shows its staggering depth. One can see why many people say it’s one of the most elegant brain-burning abstract games in history, with players trying to claim territory by walling off sections of the board and surrounding each other’s stones. The game doesn’t end until the board fills up, or, more often, when both players agree to end it, at which time whoever controls the most territory wins.
In Ingenious, a.k.a. Einfach Genial, players take turns placing colored domino-style tiles on a game board, scoring for each line of colored symbols that they enlarge. The trick, however, is that a player’s score is equal to her worst-scoring color, not her best, so she needs to score for all colors instead of specializing in only one or two.
In Seikatsu, players take turns placing tiles into a shared garden area, with each tile showing a colored flower and colored bird. Players score for groups of birds as they place them, but they score for rows of flowers only at the end of the game and only for the rows of flowers that exist from their perspective, i.e., that are viewable as lines from where they sit at the game board.
When a body is discovered in the courtyard of a stately English mansion, the weapon and location are obvious; the only questions the investigators need to answer are who and why. Every guest may have a motive, and every one of them has secrets they’re trying to hide!
In Patchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. To start play, lay out all of the patches at random in a circle and place a marker directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. Each player takes five buttons — the currency/points in the game — and someone is chosen as the start player.
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.