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The cubes are shaken out arbitrarily onto the board, making a pyramid. Any cubes that may be lying on their own on the edge of the board should be placed on the pyramid as well. The wobblier and higher the pyramid, the better. The start player takes the two sticks and we're off!
The aim is to try and get as many cubes off the pile as possible using the sticks (either one or both of them may be used). But be careful! None of the other cubes must move or your turn is over and the next player can try his luck. And one thing's for sure--all of your opponents are going to be watching you with eyes like saucers. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Players: 1 - 5
Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Ages: 6 and up
Weight: 1,865 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
Theta is a German company that makes big games with nice wooden components. Their price matches the quality, as each of their games will set you back about $50. Most of the games fall into the "dexterity" category, and they claim that you'll only unbox the game once since they look so good out of the box. They do look good, but if you display them it will probably be because the boxes do not fit well on normal sized bookshelves. Some of the games are excellent, while others look better than they play. For the uninitiated, here is a review of the Theta games:
[page 04201#001548]jump to Headquarter review
[page 07809#001549]jump to Saturn review
You begin Cubicado by dumping a set of blocks in four sizes onto a frame, trying to create a large and unstable pyramid. The blocks each have a small hole on some of their sides, and the players in turn use two sticks to try to remove the blocks without disturbing any of the others. If successful, they keep pulling blocks until another moves, at which point their turn ends and the sticks are passed.
The blocks score by size in a 1-2-4-8 pattern, obviously creating a premium for the larger blocks. As should be clear, toward the end of the game it becomes increasingly easy to remove blocks without affecting others, but by this time the game is often decided. In practice, whoever gets a disproportionate number of the 8 and 4 blocks wins, and this is an example of a game that looks a lot better than it plays. This is one of their weaker efforts.
[page 04530#001551]jump to Pusher review
[page 04520#001552]jump to Tribalance review
[page 07806#001553]jump to Fire review
[page 07807#001554]jump to Handicap review
Step by Step
[page 07808#001555]jump to Step by Step review
A Quick Summary
The eight games in the Theta collection share the common features of quality wooden components, big boxes, great aesthetics, focus on physics, and high prices. Here is a buyers guide for those interested. The number in parenthesis refers to the "dexterity/strategy" mix, with 1 meaning only dexterity and 10 meaning only strategy: