I was first challenged to a game of GridBlock by a 4-and-a-half-year-old. (That half year is very important, you know. I was solemnly informed that his twin brother is also four-and-a-half.)
I wasn’t familiar with GridBlock but my little friend and his grandma explained that there are only 2 rules.
- Pieces of the same color must touch.
- Pieces of the same shape must not touch.
That sounds pretty easy, I thought.
You know what’s coming, right? It turned out to be trickier than I had imagined. My little friend had me blocked in short order. And the game was over.
“Aw, that’s just a practice game,” Grandma said. “The next one can be ‘for real.'”
So we retrieved our pieces and started over. And “for real,” I was beaten by a 4-year-old. Excuse me, I mean 4-and-a-half-year-old.
Later, Rebecca and I tried it out.
For a two-player game each player starts with 8 pieces, 4 of each color. Players take turns placing their pieces on the board, following the rules and trying to block their opponent.
I’m not sure we have the hang of it yet or have figured out the best strategy. You can see where I placed all my pink pieces and she placed all her blue pieces. Now, as far as I can tell, there’s only one place where the long 3-peg piece can go, whether it’s orange or green. Also, another turn-the-corner piece can’t be played at all. And that’s as far as my strategizing goes because it’s all going to depend on where the next piece will be placed.
Here’s what we ended up doing, with a total of 5 pieces left over. I don’t think we’re very good at this yet.
I want to try it with 4 players next, with each player taking a different color. I have the feeling it might be almost like a totally different game.
If you’re looking for something new and different for a your family game collection, GridBlock might fit the bill. It’s a quick game, but it does challenge thinking skills of all ages. It’s designed for 2 to 4 players, but I enjoyed fiddling with it alone to see if I could arrange all the pieces on the board according to the rules. (Yes, it can be done.)
GridBlock comes in a nice storage box, but the game itself is designed with a storage tray underneath the peg board to hold the pieces. I like game designs that are self-contained that way.
It’s currently available at Timberdoodle, which is my favorite place to find unique, brain-building games.
Here are a few others from Timberdoodle that we love:
What’s your current favorite game? I’m looking for another one or two for Christmas, myself.