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ZÈRTZ

English language edition


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 15 minutes 2

Designer(s): Kris Burm

Publisher(s): Rio Grande Games, Schmidt Spiele

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Product Description

The third installment in the GIPF project, following GIPF and TAMSK, Zèrtz is played with 5 white, 7 gray and 9 black marbles and 37 round tiles. The tiles are used to assemble the board; the marbles are in a pool. Each turn you must place one marble on the board and then remove a free tile. The aim is to capture 3 white, 4 gray, 5 black marbles or 2 marbles of each color. To capture you must jump with a marble over another marble. It sounds easy, but both players play with the same marbles and the board gets smaller with every move. Thus, the players are forced toward a situation where every move is a crucial one... when you create a trap for your opponent at the wrong moment, you may find yourself caught in the trap. This international edition includes English rules.

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best 2-Player Game Nominee, 2001
Games Magazine Awards
Best Abstract Strategy Game, 2001
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2000
Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 2000

Product Information

Contents:

  • 37 board pieces
  • 24 marbles (6 white, 8 grey, 10 black)
  • rulebook
ZÈRTZ has the following expansions available:

GIPF Project: Expansion Set 2 Zèrtz / Dvonn game system integrator Out of Stock

You might be interested in these related products as well:

GIPF multi-lingual edition Out of Stock

TAMSK formerly part of the GIPF series Out of Stock

GIPF multi-lingual edition Out of Stock

TAMSK formerly part of the GIPF series Out of Stock

Abalone Out of Stock

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.8 in 18 reviews

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Elegance meets depth of strategy!
February 26, 2009

Zertz is a fantastic game in the Gipf series. There is nothing quite like it, and I've played many an abstract game. The "shrinking game board" mechanism is simply brilliant, guaranteeing that the game has a definitive "end" and will not meander around a stalemate situation like other games.

People complain that it feels too much like a "puzzle" that one needs to solve in order to win. I have to disagree. True, there are four possible ways to win, but just pick one and if doesn't work out, then change the strategy. That's the beauty of Zertz, the game keeps itself interesting FOR you.

The rules are very few and extremely simple to grasp. I won't go into detail about them here, but there's, like, one rule for "playing" a marble and one rule for "capturing" a marble(s). That's it. And yet, so complex and full of possibilities.

Another big plus in my book, which hasn't gotten its due recognition - is its portability. Because the components (which are first-class, I might add) consist of nothing more than rings and marbles, all one has to do is put them in a couple of zip-lock bags and take them anywhere. Zertz is also a "traveling" game. Great!

It's a good coffee table game, and if you take it out, people will invariably ask about it because it looks so unique and interesting that it entices people to inquire about the game.

Everyone I've shown and taught this game to has said how much they enjoy playing it.

I cannot give a big enough recommendation to Zertz, and the whole Gipf Project, for that matter.

 
 
 
 
 
by Garnica
Elegance meets depth of strategy!
February 26, 2009

Zertz is a fantastic game in the Gipf series. There is nothing quite like it, and I've played many an abstract game. The "shrinking game board" mechanism is simply brilliant, guaranteeing that the game has a definitive "end" and will not meander around a stalemate situation like other games.

People complain that it feels too much like a "puzzle" that one needs to solve in order to win. I have to disagree. True, there are four possible ways to win, but just pick one and if doesn't work out, then change the strategy. That's the beauty of Zertz, the game keeps it interesting FOR you.

The rules are very few and extremely simple to grasp. I won't go into detail about them here, but there's, like, one rule for "playing" a marble and one rule for "capturing" a marble(s). That's it. And yet, so complex and full of possibilities.

Another big plus in my book, which hasn't gotten its due recognition - is its portability. Because the components (which are first-class, I might add) consist of nothing more than rings and marbles, all one has to do is put them in a couple of zip-lock bags and take them anywhere. Zertz is also a "traveling" game. Great!

It's a good coffee table game, and if you take it out, people will invariably ask about it because it looks so unique and interesting that it entices people to inquire about the game.

Everyone I've shown and taught this game to has said how much they enjoy playing it.

I cannot give a big enough recommendation to Zertz, and the whole Gipf Project, for that matter.

 
 
 
 
 
Thinking two steps ahead
May 18, 2006

Zertz, for me, has the biggest learning curve, not only because of the requirements for victory (four white, five grey, six black, three of each, or last to fill the board) but how play progresses and the complications of an individual's turn (mandatory jump OR place a marble and take a disk). Capturing marbles is the object, but the only way you can jump is if your opponent sets you up for one! This is not a complaint, but it made it harder to snuggle up to the game.

Aesthetically it is as it is one of the more visually attractive of the Gipf series. And the shrinking board makes for all kinds of interesting puzzles and patterns. Here also is the link to Dvonn, with filled isolated "islands" being removed. The board is also adaptable to different numbers of starting rings.

I used the Gipf games as teaching tools for math, and for whatever reason Zertz is the hands down favorite of the series. Once a player grasps the rules is a game of forcing your opponent to do what they do not wish, and thinking two or three steps in advance to capture the marbles you need. Skilled players can keep their opponent guessing as to which victory conditon they are trying for, and even at that opportunity may make you switch strategies.


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