Board Game Reviews: Blokus

Blokus

    Overview:


Blokus is a light to medium weight abstract strategy game for 2-4 players. Players have a variety of differently shaped pieces, each made up of a number of squares (rather like Tetris) and take it in turns to play pieces onto the board.

    Components:


The game comes in a large box to hold the board and pieces in 4 different colours. The board is a solid plastic board with squares inlaid so that the pieces slot in nicely and don’t move easily. The pieces themselves are also hard plastic and come in 4 bright but transparent colours.

    Rules:


The rules are very simple indeed and come on a single sheet of paper. This is more than adequate and has pictures to show examples of how the game works so it is very easy to dive right in and start playing.

    Gameplay:

For 4 players:

Game set up -Each player picks a colour and takes all the pieces of that colour.

Turns -A start player is picked who goes first and then play continues clockwise around. On the first turn each player places one piece onto the board such that it touches the corner of the board nearest to them. On subsequent turns each player places another of their pieces onto the board such that it satisfies the following 2 rules:

a) The new piece must connect to any of their previous pieces via a diagonal connection.
b) The new piece must not have any edges that connect to any of his other pieces along an edge of one of the constituent squares.

Players continue until they either cannot legally place any more of their pieces or until they have played every piece. Players then count up the number of constituent squares in all their remaining pieces and this is their negative score. Should a player play all of their pieces they score a positive 15 points and should they also play the single square piece as their last piece they score a bonus 5 points.

For 2 players:

Each player takes two colours and play them starting in opposite corners. The rules are otherwise the same, with each player totalling the scores from both colours at the end to determine the winner.

For 3 players:

Each player takes one colour with the fourth colour remaining neutral. Players then take it in turns to control the neutral colour whenever it comes around to the neutral colour’s turn. The rules are then otherwise the same.

    Review of gameplay:


The gameplay is very simple and so it is a great one to teach kids and non-gamers. There is a fair amount of strategy though and so it is a game that will appeal to more serious gamers as well. The game plays fairly quickly, with players usually planning their moves ahead and only taking more time if the other players’ moves mess up their plans. The two player game works fine, although I’ve noticed I tend to favour one colour over the other. I’ve never played the three player game and from what I have heard that is definitely not where the game shines.

    Overall:


Blokus is a great game for both gamers and non-gamers alike. The pieces remind everyone of tetris and never fail to catch the eye. The simplicity of the rules, coupled with the potential depth mean it is a great all round game that I would recommend to anyone.

    Scores:

Components:8/10
Rules:9/10
Gameplay:9/10
Fun:8/10
Overall:8/10

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