The game Blokus fits equally well under Games or Polyominoes, in this weblog, but the otherwise convenient iBlog software requires it to be placed under only one of the two categories.
The pieces are the twenty-one free polyominoes: twelve pentominoes (shapes made of five adjacent squares), five tetrominoes (four adjacent squares), two trominoes (three adjacent squares), a domino (two adjacent squares), and a monomino (single square). The rules are simple: you may place a piece only if its corner, but no edge, abuts one or more of your pieces already placed, with the first piece touching your corner. For two players, each player takes two colors, in effect playing as two individuals in the four-player game. (We haven't tried the three-player option yet.) This is quite different from other polyomino games, such as Quintillions or Katamino. The game board is nicely designed to keep the pieces in place.
Friends tell me that one of the great things about Blokus is the fact that children can compete well with adults, once they get the hang of it. I'm afraid that, for now, I still always beat my eight-year-old son unless I advise him on strategy as we go along. It's fun that way, too, though: the puzzle is sufficiently interesting that competition is not required to make it fun. The manufacturer's suggested age ranges is five to twelve years, but there's nothing wrong with it as a game for adults.
One of many sources for Blokus is Amazon. Amazon also sells a Travel Blokus game! You can also play Blokus online, but I never find playing on the computer to be nearly as much fun as physically manipulating the pieces, plus, of course, it's a lot more fun to play with people I know than with a computer program.
Posted: Fri - August 20, 2004 at 10:14 AM