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Mole Hill
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Mole Hill

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 20 minutes 2

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): Blatz

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Product Description

The setting is a small, romantic spot in the heart of England -- a typical country cottage surrounded by a large garden. But this idyll is deceptive. Small brown piles of earth disfigure the perfect English lawn of the gardener's dreams. The sacred turf is despoiled.

We are in the midst of a devious battle between gardener and mole. Because in this garden, there is only room for one!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Manufacturer(s): Blatz

  • Year: 1997

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 20 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 270 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • Game board
  • 22 wooden boundary rods
  • 22 Mole-hill game pieces

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 3 reviews

by Rick
You'll dig it
March 23, 1999

Short and playful sums up this amusing 2-player diversion from designer Reiner Knizia. Compact, foldable board opens to reveal a gridded garden on which wooden disks are placed each turn in adjacent squares by one player as the mole. Meanwhile, the other player as gardener attempts to entrap the mole by placing wooden rods to fence him in; a mole hole at board's center provides an escape tunnel. The mole, who can't return to a square with a disk on it, scores points for every dark disk placed after playing his first 10 light color disks. Bonus points are picked up for flower squares. Players reverse roles and compare scores to determine a winner, but it's doubtful you'll want to stop there. This won't anchor an evening, but it's a unique and pleasing game with just enough strategy to keep things fresh in the garden each time. Likely the best game around with a mole in it!

by Jana
Simple strategic game to learn, harder to master
February 02, 1999

This is a wonderfully simple game to learn (from R. Knizia), but much harder to master. If you enjoy strategic (spacially challenging) games, you should enjoy this one. The concept: the Mole vs. the Gardener (players reverse roles every round). The garden consists of a 9 x 7 tiled board (with some spaces worth extra points). The goal is to lay as many chips down (with placement contraints) if you're the Mole, and if you're the Gardener to block the Mole from further movement. The twist is that your first 10 chips don't count. The game plays quickly - usually less than 20 minutes. Pieces are made from wood with typical German quality.

Catch me if you can...
January 09, 2001

This is a nice game to have when only you are left with 2 to play games. It's a simple 'chasing' game, trying to corner the other player. As mentioned in the other reviews, you get 22 mole hills and start off somewhere in a 7 x 9 grid garden. While moving around the board, you leave one mole hill behind. First, 10 light colored mole hills (that do not score points, unless you are on a flower bed); and then the final 12 dark colored mole hills (1 point per mole hill). Once a mole hill is placed on a square, you cannot access it anymore. So the challenge is:

  • The mole: Trying to get all 22 on the board and take as many flower beds as possible on the way. Avoid the gardener and don't corner yourself.
  • The gardener: Try to get him before the mole starts putting down the dark mole hills (the gardener does this by placing boundaries).

All in all, pretty entertaining and a recommendation to those stuck a lot of times with 2 players to play games. The bits are nice, but the board is a mole hill itself (it doesn't lie flat). But that doesn't spoil the fun.

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