This weekend was Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and U.S. Thanksgiving. The biggest shopping weekend of the year. As someone who promotes online deals on tabletop games and other geeky items I was very busy. Ridiculously busy.
AndSheGames and I managed to put together a Geek Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals and we both spent way too many hours promoting deals online. This combined with the holiday in the U.S. and many friends who take part in that holiday did not leave much time for gaming.
The only game I played was a round of Blokus with the kids.
Disclosure: Some links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. As an associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Right now it’s technically still Cyber Monday. So if you are shopping for deals I do suggest you check out our Gift Guide. If you are holiday shopping in general and not as worried about deals I also suggest checking out our Gamer Gift Guide collection for great gifts for gamers that aren’t just more games.
I know it’s not the prettiest of guides. AndSheGames originally created it on another WordPress blog that uses the same template as this one, but when she ported everything over it went all wonky. It’s something we plan on fixing for next year. Actually, we have a lot of plans for next year including integrating it more with the Tabletop Bellhop brand and image.
What would be awesome is if you could spread the word about these. Affiliate sales from guides like these are now a significant portion of our household income and them doing well lets me keep being The Tabletop Bellhop and maintaining everything we do here.
On to an actual game!
It was sharing a deal on Blokus that made me really want to play it. I saw the deal, did my sharing thing and kept thinking: man Blokus is such a great game for a mass market game. Great components, easy to teach, and great for almost all ages. I should play that again.
So at one point when I needed the break and after the kids had finished up a chore I needed them to do we sat down and played our copy of Blokus.
Blokus is an abstract tile laying game from Mattel that you should be able to find wherever toys are sold. It’s one of the few mass market games I really enjoy and will readily recommend.
Each player gets a set of 21 tiles. These are polyominos made up of 1 to 5 blocks. Players have the most 5 piece blocks and less of each size going down to just one 1 piece block. The board is a 20×20 grid and players are attempting to play as many pieces as possible onto the grid.
A players first piece must touch one of the four corners. After that players place each piece down so that it is diagonally adjacent to one of their own pieces without touching any of their other pieces orthogonally. Once no more moves are possible the player with the least pieces left wins (there is also a scoring system with a bonus if you place your 1 square tile last).
Blokus is that simple. That is it for the rules. You all can now go out and play. That is one of the things to love about this game. What you don’t get just reading that or seeing the game is how brilliant those placing rules are. The way the board and pieces interact is what makes this game shine. Thinking you cut someone off only for them to find that one small gap and expand outward. Finding the perfect spot for your last 5 square tile only to have someone play a piece in that spot. Being able to play your 1 square tile last for some bonus points. These are all things that bring me back to Blokus over and over again.
I really do love this game. The game we played Sunday was a three player game. Just me and my girls who are now 8 and 11 years old. Both of them totally grok not only the rules but the strategy of the game. The only part they stumbled over is the three-player variant rules. The game is best with four and if you play with less than that there are some quick rule changes (for three player there is a neutral colour and each turn a different player places for that colour and it rotates with turn order, while for two player you just play two colours each).
Based on my BGG plays it looks like I first got the kids Blokus in 2014. So they would have been 4 and 7. I do remember back then Little G having a hard time with the placement rules, though she did love to play with the game as a toy and just put blocks down in various patterns. I would say that age 6+ is probably the sweet spot for this one though it is worth trying with younger kids. This is also one of those amazing games that is just as good with adults. I will happily sit down and challenge Charles to a game of Blokus and that’s going to be a nasty cutthroat thing that is a ton of fun.
Does your family own Blokus? Did you find any cool Cyber Monday deals?