Ha! You can’t move your spider now!
I’ve been thinking about getting a copy of Hive for a while and this week finally got hold of the “Pocket” version of the game, which has smaller (though still lovely and chunky) tiles than the original, but includes the expansion tiles that you have to buy separately for the full sized version.
The game is pure strategy, a little like a version of chess where there is no board, but the play area is constrained by the tiles themselves (anyone ever play SJG’s Tile Chess?). As such I was a little concerned at how well Miss B would handle the game, but she specifically requested to play it, so why not…
As it turned out the weak link in the game was me. For our first play (I had never played the game before), Miss B fumbled around a bit trying to figure out the various ways of moving the bugs, but since I had forgotten the “you can’t place a piece adjacent to your opponent’s piece” rule, she ended up running rings around me and winning. Excellent for morale, that.
We played again, this time with the proper rules and had a close finish with me just squeezing the win. This is an intriguing game and could provide lots of head-scratching entertainment in the coming years as we explore what looks like a very deep game (I’m looking forward to introducing this to the gaming lads at work). But for now, as a don’t-plan-too-much-or-play-too-defensively quickie, it works well. I can’t praise enough the quality of the pieces which make it into a touchy-feely game par excellence, much like its sort-of predecessor Tantrix (which I have only ever played in puzzle mode — note to self: must check out the competitive rules). And comprising, as it does, a bunch of chunky tiles in a bag, this is a good one to add to the travelling games selection.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 5½): “It was good. I liked the queen bees because they make you lose when they are surrounded.”
The game: Hive (Gen 42), 2 players aged 8+.