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Store:  2-Player Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Twixt
Genre:  Abstract Strategy, Connection
Format:  Board Games

Twixt

German edition


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Product Awards:  
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1979

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30 minutes 2

Designer(s): Alex Randolph

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

This is a classic strategy game which Kosmos has brought back. The goal is simply to connect opposite sides. But if you just build your own bridges and don't pay attention to what your opponent is doing, you will surely lose.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1979

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Alex Randolph

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 30 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,164 grams

  • Customer Favorites Rank: #29

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

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Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.7 in 19 reviews

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Alex Randolph's crown jewel
April 29, 2007

Twixt is a highly tactical two-player abstract which has been around since the 1960s. It's a connection type abstract. The goal is to connect your two opposite sides of the board. This differs from abstract battles such as chess or checkers, and arguably taps into different aspects of human intelligence, creativity, and imagination. Those who dislike battles between armies of pieces may find they have an affinity for creating connections.

Even so, this is a very confrontational game. The only way to win is to block your opponent's path. There's an amazing amount of strategic depth here. I have played over a thousand "virtual" games over the internet, and hope to play thousands more.

This Kosmos edition has a nice board made of four plastic quadrants which snap together without the need for extra clips. Grid labels A-X and 1-24 are provided along the edges of the board, in case you want to record or talk about your games. The rules are provided in English. A booklet of 40 puzzles is in German, but is mostly understandable since it mainly consists of puzzle diagrams and move coordinates in the solutions. There is also a German pamphlet which discusses basic strategy. Parts of that booklet were written by me and translated from English. You can read my contributions in English, as well as the rules and other literature, at the BoardGameGeek Twixt page.

Potential buyers should be aware that Kosmos initially provided white versus red pieces to go with a board that has white versus red border rows. But later they switched from white pieces to black, without changing the colors on the board.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
One of the finest abstract games, ever!
February 18, 2004

I learned Twixt from my father in the late 60's. I still have his original, 3M/1962 copy of the game. It was simple to learn. Yet my mastery of the game has come at the cost of playing many, many games (and drinking many, many beers) and even at the price of losing a friend or two.

It is imaginetive and thought provoking. It is educational; teaching the art of 'playing two or three moves ahead'.

It's a perfect game for kids and adults and between kids and adults. I enjoy it at parties, at home, on vacation, or even at the neighborhood bar.

I've played, won and lost, with only ten or twelve pins and with one or two bridges in play. I have also played, won and lost, with almost every game-piece in play. In one of my most challenging games, with hundreds of pieces in play, my opponent and I were so focused on the game, he stated, 'If we stare at this board any harder, it's going to melt-down!' I've even played to a draw.

I do not play as often as I like as none of my friends like loosing to me.

Special Note: I read about the so called, 'advantage' to placing the first pin, as well as the purpose for the 'pie rule'. With all due respect, anyone who envokes these 'rules', quite simply, does not know how to play the game. Play more often. If I can learn to consistantly win while starting second, so can you.

Try it! I highly recommend it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
it's still around for a good reason...
January 28, 2004

Something of a modern classic in abstract strategy, and if you play you can see why: it's mechanically very simple but it's a brain burner to play it well. In play, the act of defence (building across your opponents march to the edge) tends to double as an attack in its own right, so a player thinking they have it all their own way can easily have the tables turned on them if they're not careful.

Looking through the previous reviews here the only major detraction seems to be that the first move has an advantage, but note that a simple rule addition in the Kosmos version has removed that: one player places the first peg and the other player then decides which colour they will play, forcing the first peg to be placed in a fairly neutral position. Like the rest of the game, very neat, and very effective.

Avoid if you want themes or a bit of luck in the mechanics. If you love abstract games of pure skill it's probably one you should have.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Still fun after 40 years!
September 02, 2003

I am 50 years old and still have my Twixt game from 1962 when it first came out and I was 10. My best friend and I used to pull 'Twixt all-nighter' sleep-overs at this young age we loved the game so much. We would play until we ran out of pieces and would have to remove pieces from dead-end areas of the board to continue our battles. I hadn't played in probably 30 years until this evening, when my 6-year-old son and I played our first game. What a blast! Reminiscent of chess in that you must think several moves in advance to succeed, but not as challenging for the little one. The old moves came back immediately (like riding a bicycle) but I was so intent on showing them to my son and teaching him the double-link strategies that are crucial to winning advantage that I let him outflank me and the little bugger beat me! He loved it and so did I, and I'm sure this is just the first of many games to come. As I put him to bed he told me that when he grew up and had a child he would play Twixt with him, too. I wonder if my ancient set will last that long? If not, we may be in the market for one of these.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
One of my all-time favorites.
April 19, 2002

Looking through my collection of old games, I see many that I no longer play and, for that matter, no longer have much interest in playing; even games that my friends and I had a lot of fun with once upon a time now provoke little more than a fond memory.

Twixt is one of the few games in my collection that I still play regularly after 25 years of ownership. My skill has improved, but I've never mastered it. This game has great depth; if one likes a game that one can stare at and analyze for lengthy periods of time--considering the possible moves and counter-moves--or that one can play quickly and just see what happens, this is a game for you.

A previous reviewer claimed this game was flawed because there is a 'deterministic' series of moves that will guarantee victory for the first player. This 'flaw', I suggest, is present in any game of pure strategy; but in any case is mitigated in this case by implementation of the 'pie' rule: first player plays, then second player decides whether to respond or take the first player's move as their own. Even without the pie rule, it seems to me, if a person can actually see from the beginning that sequence of moves that will gaurantee victory every time, they must be a savant with mental abilities far beyond the capacity of most mortals.

Highly recommended for enthusiasts of abstract games.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
teacher tool
December 11, 2001

For the longest time, I was playing a paper and pencil version because I couldn't get a used copy. With this new edition, I can put my pencil down and play the game the way it is supposed to be played. I love the game so much I have taugh my 8th grade students how to play. The game is simple to learn, and game play is easy enough for my students to develop written game plans for defense and attack.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Abstract, evil, excellent.
November 18, 2001

Twixt has something no other game has--the stress begins with the placement of the first piece. And every move counts; one poor placement can lose the game--unless, of course, your opponent makes a poor placement.

The more I play, the more strategies and counter-strategies I find.

Some games have walls shooting nearly straight across the board--and some develop into diabolic mazes of blocking, forking, and counterblocking.

I would disagree with a previous review--it is easy to counter the first player's move. If they place near the center, you can block their move with a close placement. If first placement is near an edge of the board, you can begin your wall at the other end to block them. Check out the strategy tips that come with the game, or any of the Twixt strategy websites out there.

An amazing game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Tim
A fantastic game that can be played on many levels
August 29, 2001

This is a very easy game to learn. I figured it out in less than five minutes. But don't be fooled, there is lots of strategy involved. It is good for a relaxing, friendly game or a brain-bending, competitive challenge. This game has a plethora of strategies. No two games are alike. I highly recommend it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Wow, what a game!
June 22, 2001

I've known 'of' Twixt for many years. I'm now very sorry to discover that until recently I had never made an effort to give this game a try. This turned out to be a grave error on my part. It's a fabulous game!

Invented by Alex Randolph, Twixt is a two-player game (a four-player partnership variation exists that I haven't tried) played on a 'board' which is actually a 24x24 square grid of holes (minus the four corner holes). The holes along the four edges are referred to as border rows. The North and South rows are referred to as Red's border rows and the East and West edges are Black's border rows. (Note: some sets use colors other than Red and Black.) The grid is completely empty at the beginning of the game.

Each player has a collection of both pegs and links of his/her color. Players take turns placing their own pegs in any vacant hole (except the holes in their opponent's border rows) and, if possible and desired, linking these pegs together. Two or more pegs may be linked together only if they are a 'knight's move' apart. (The opposite corners of a 3x2 rectangle.)

The object is to connect your two border rows with a continuous chain of linked pegs. Your opponent is trying to complete his own chain with his pegs and links to HIS two border rows, and the first player to do so wins. If neither side can complete such a chain, the game is a draw, although I understand draws are quite rare, even between two experienced players.

I recently spent a few days in a nearby state visiting a friend of mine. I had recently purchased Twixt and was anxious to give it a try it. My friend has three teenage sons, all of whom enjoy playing board games. I brought Twixt along, thinking we all could give it a try and see what it was like. I'm very glad I did so since all four of us enjoyed it immensely!

Each game we played seemed to bring about new discoveries and ideas. Each game was exciting and often dramatic. After each game we were all hungry for more and immediately wanted to play again.

Most of our games lasted less than 30 minutes, although, like chess, I'm sure many games could certainly last much longer. Also similar to chess, Twixt can be both strategical and tactical in nature. The first few games we played were much less strategic than the later ones, as we began to understand some of the subtleties the game has to offer.

For many years, Twixt was out of print. It was first published in the 1960s by 3M and then later by Avalon Hill. It was recently made available again, this time from both Schmidt Spiele and Kosmos. Because it is back in print, GAMES Magazine was able to reinstate it in their prestigious Hall of Fame.

Again, I regret not discovering Twixt sooner in life, but I do look forward to many enjoyable hours ahead as I play, learn, and study this fascinating game. It's a wonderful blend of the four qualities that help to give any abstract board game lasting value: depth, clarity, drama, and decisiveness. 4.5 Stars.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Twixt Lives!
August 07, 2000

A great abstract game that Games Magazine deleted from the hall of Fame because it was 'No longer available' (obviously they need to explore Funagain Games more often). This game has simple rules, but great depth. No gamer should be without this classic. I purchased this during the 1960s and I still play it frequently. Each year some new abstract game gets rave reviews and we are told that the gaming world will hail it for years. (Anyone remember Kensington?) This game will always be the favorite after these flash in the pans litter tag sales and thrift store shelves.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
This is my addiction.
April 05, 2000

I've been obsessed with the depth and beauty of this game for over 30 years now. People seem to react to this game in three different ways:

  1. It never really interests them in the first place, or
  2. They get interested for a while and then drift away from it, possibly because they couldn't find opponents that would stay interested, or
  3. They get really hooked on it like I did.

There are at least three Twixt tournaments each year in Europe. www.msoworld.com is the website for the Mind Sports Olympiad, which includes the 'Official World TwixT Championship' near London each August. There's also a tourney in Essen, Germany during the Spielfest there each October. There's also one In Milan, Italy, but I don't know exactly when it is. The above website also contains some Twixt articles I wrote.

I should also add that I wrote part of the booklet that comes with the Kosmos edition of this game. My friend Edi Fuelleman translated my stuff into German. Email me for the English version.

The 'World Boardgaming Championships' near Baltimore, Maryland each July or August, doesn't have a Twixt event, but I MAY show up there this August, trolling for opponents. Email me if you'd like to play!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Absolutely deep.
March 07, 2000

One of the deepest games I know, it's impossibile to play it lightly: perfect concentration is needed for every move.

An heavy exercise for the brain.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
This game will blow your synapses
February 02, 2000

This is one of the first games I ever played. I rarely ever play it because it requires more mental concentration than any other that I know of. Simple yet complex.

One of the unique qualities of this game is that there is a clear winner and a clear loser every turn. This game takes up to six hours when played at the appropriate level.

It is rare that you should waste a turn linking your posts (that is, placing a post between two others so that link placement is legal). Like chess, most of your moves will be to stake out a strategy that is bulletproof, before cashing your chips in.

Of course, one could always use a timer, but my experience is that each turn takes about twenty to thirty minutes as you try to find a way out of the mess you're in. Then the shoe is on the other foot. Just when you think you've lost (and this is before any links have been placed), you stump your opponent.

I have not yet played this as a partners game.

I picked up an interesting edition while in Amsterdam, which uses castle walls as the links, and turrets as the posts. It's from Selecta Games.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A lot of fun!
May 10, 1999

I played this game when it was first on the market. It is a blast...lots of thought. A fun game played with 2 or 4.

I have been looking for this game for years... I am so glad I have found it again.

I hope you enjoy it as much has I have/will!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Rich
Great strategy game
January 15, 2004

This one does not get requested that much at our house but when it does come out it is played game after game. There is definite strategy in the game as there are many combinations of move (like in chess) which can devestate your opponent. The games don't last over 20 minutes either most of the time. If you like chess then you will love this game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A really fast game.
July 18, 2001

This game is more of a 3.5 star game. I think I wanted to like this game more than I actually do. I am a fan of this genre (e.g. Ta Yu and Waterworks), and the premise is fantastic, but--alas--I find this game hard to have a real strategy. One player always seems ahead of the other, and it's hard to stop them; and the player who goes first has an advantage. If someone knows how to beat this, please let me know. A good game, with some holes... Maybe me...

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Truly elegant
July 18, 2001

I am not a huge fan of purely abstract games. I tend to lose rather handily whenever I am coerced into playing one. Still, there is an unmistakable beauty to Twixt, and it is one of the few astracts that I am willing to play.

The game is a simple affair of placing pegs and then bridges between those pegs, with the intention of connecting opposing sides of the board. The game conveniently can not result in a tie, since one player will be able to connect her sides and acheive the win.

It is the 'knight move' connection that makes this game, as it is much harder to anticipate all possibilities when dealing with this slightly odd shape. Concentrating too much on one area of the board can result too easily in the opponent making a quick end run around you. This is definitely a 'big picture' game.

One of the best abstract games out there, and from what I understand the German components far outshine the old US pieces. Recommended.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Challenging for 2 or 4 players.
September 19, 1999

Great game for thinkers. Lots of move options available, lots of room for error. A definite must for a good challenging game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Great Idea, BUT it has a big flaw!
November 15, 2001

I used to play this game a LOT when it was a 3M bookshelf game. It IS fun. However it may have a fatal flaw you should be aware of:

Whoever moves first can always win! For each peg placed, there is a deterministic best countermove. With a bit of study, it's not too difficult to figure out. If the first player to move knows how it works, then they will always be 1 step ahead and can never lose.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Other Resources for Twixt:

Board Game Geek is an incredible compilation of information about board and card games with many descriptions, photographs, reviews, session reports, and other commentary.