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Not only is Blokus one of the most beautiful games to be found, it is also a tremendous two to four player strategy game. There are literally only two rules, allowing the game to be accessible to even the most casual of players; and games can end in ten minutes! Players take turns laying down twenty-one pieces of different shapes on a grid, attempting to block their opponents and make more room for themselves. The player who places the most translucent plastic pieces is the winner, as players seek to expand their own territory in this clever little game.
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Ages: 5 and up
Est. time to learn: Under 5 minutes
Weight: 1,259 grams
All-Time Sales Rank: #12
Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
- 1 board of 400 squares
- 84 pieces in 4 colors
- Instruction Guide
Average Rating: 4.5 in 29 reviews
We LOVE Blokus. It takes literally ten seconds to learn how to play, but the game itself is sophisticated and elegant, and you never get tired of playing. Each player gets 21 pieces of their own color that are comprised of from one to five squares attached together in various configurations - sort of like Tetris pieces. All you have to do is put down pieces of your color, touching other pieces at the corners. Your pieces cannot touch your pieces of the same color on any side. The goal is to unload all of your pieces. The person with the fewest number of squares left at the end of the game wins. That's it. As the board fills up, it becomes increasingly difficult to place your pieces, and you have to place pieces both defensively and "offensively" in order to be a really good strategic player.
Children as young as three can participate and play without strategy - they'll still enjoy it. If you put the pieces into plastic ziploc bags, it's extremely packable for traveling because the board, while about a foot square and not foldable, is flat, so it fits nicely into a suitcase (although not into, say, a backpack). The one drawback of this game is that it really works by far the best if it is played by four people exactly. More than four cannot play (except on teams). Fewer than four is cumbersome because all four colors MUST be played at each game. In games with three players, each player must take turns playing the fourth un-manned color. In games with two players, each player plays two colors, but this shifts the focus to protecting your own color pieces, which thwarts interesting play. Oddly, you CAN play Blokus solitaire, trying to get all the pieces of all colors "legally" on the board, which is really challenging and fun. It's a great game for two couples to play, or four friends. We've actually started having Blokus parties. Even people who don't like games like Blokus.
It's not hard to convince people to learn it because it's so easy to learn, and you don't have to play too seriously if you don't want to. The board is beautiful, too. I completely recommend it.
This is a fun, compelling game. Recently, I introduced this to some friends. As soon as we had finished our first game, the board was cleared for round two.
As everyone was intent over their pieces and the constantly growing terrain, random comments of appreciation for Blokus kept surfacing like, "I love the satisfying click you get when you put a piece on the board."
The components are top quality. The board does not fold down (presuambly to avoid the disruption of hinges), so the box takes up a bit of space on the game shelf. But, it's sturdy plastic, and the pieces are also sturdy plastic, in attractive translucent colors.
The gameplay is simple to teach, and can be learned in about 1 minute. The outcome, however, is different every time.
The game plays well with two or four players. I have not tried the three player variant yet, but am skeptical that it would play as well (think "neutral army" in two-player Risk).
If you're not sure if this game is up your alley, you can always try it online first at blokus.com.
Again, I highly recommend this game! If you already have and enjoy Blokus, consider Tantrix--another spatially challenging game.
"I think this game is a good game for kids. Even kids that are in kindergarten. It's a game that can be played over and over and you never get tired of it because it teaches you how to use a grid, and it is a very good strategy game. What I like best about it is, it is not that hard to put together and it doesn't take that long to play. It's AWESOME! It has to be on your game shelf."
I couldn't agree more. Blokus is a sure-fire family favorite.
Our kids, ages 12, 10 and 5 love Blokus. It has become our family's favorite game to play together. Our youngest goes after one person with a vengeance every game...usually she announces it right from her first piece. The funny thing is she succeeds about half the time.
Different every time, I can't see this one getting old for a while.
It may be difficult to imagine an outstanding abstract strategy game that has just one rule, but Blokus is it. In fact, the single rule to this game is so simple, one wonders why the game hadn't been created long before now.
The popularity of this game is a great indicator of the design's genius. It can be played instantly by novices and experienced gamers alike, and novices often win the first time out. It is not overly deep, yet, there are strategies to develop and subtle tactics to learn as one acquires experience with it.
I strongly recommend Blokus for families, classrooms, and game groups.
When it comes to Abstract Board games I believe that only a few rank among the classics such as Chess, Go, Shogi or Checkers/Draughts. Alex Randolph's Twixt, Mr. Parker's Camelot and Pente are perhaps the in this class. Still, the genre is littered with abstract games that are heralded at one time, and soon are forgotten.
This game is based on a simple idea of taking several shapes and fit the most of your color on a board. The catch? They must be connected adjancently rather than flush. Corners must touch but not sides. You must balance the need to expand with the need to block your opponent. The game becomes a spacial battle of wits. It must be played to be understood.
A modern masterpiece.
Just try playing it once. Immediately you have finished you'll want to play again. Works well for fun with kids of seven and as a tough wrestling match with serious adults. Very satisfying with either 2 or 4. I held back at first ... $30 for an abstract theme seemed a bit much since my family like themed games, but I'll be back for several copies at Xmas.
Note this is an expanded version of the funagain.com review I did several months ago.
Please delete the old review.
Simple to explain the rules, but difficult to master. Every game of Blokus leaves you wondering 'what if' I had played that tile piece differently?
The Blokus gameboard is a 20 by 20 grid of tile piece slots. The 21 tile pieces assigned to each of the four players (one tile piece color per player) represent every possible geometric combination of 1 to 5 tiles connected from tile flat to tile flat. So there are a total of 21 x 4 = 84 tile pieces in four different colors, each player placing tiles in only one color in the four player version of the game. (With two players, each player selects two colors that start out diagonally from each other. With three players, each player takes turns placing the fourth color.)
The goal of the game is to have the fewest remaining 'tile grids' (tile area) at the end of the game. E.g., an unplaced five tile piece counts as five tile grids. There is a special bonus if a player manages to place all 21 tile pieces, and a slightly bigger bonus if the last tile piece placed of the 21 is the one tile piece. The game ends when none of the four colors (players) has any more possible tile piece placements on the board.
Play proceeds clockwise with each player either placing one tile piece, or withdrawing from the game unable to place any more tiles. Each of the four players starts any of their 21 pieces as their first move (except the 'five tile cross' piece) with a corner tile of one of their tile pieces in their corner of the board. From then on it usually a race to control or get through the center of the gameboard.
The only rules for tile piece placement after the first tile piece is played is that your tile pieces must touch from one tile corner to another tile corner (in a chain back to the first tile piece placed), and your tile pieces can never touch tile piece edge/flat to tile piece edge/flat.
The tile piece to be placed must also fit into the remaining empty tile spaces on the gameboard, and therein lies the challenge, particularly in the latter stages of the game when there are few open tile spaces remaining. Rapidly decreasing open tile space real estate is the main reason why it is a good idea to dump your five tile pieces as soon as possible -- they may not fit anywhere on the whole board later. And then it is a good idea to dump the four tile pieces, etc.
The other three players are also trying to control the gameboard by dumping their big tile pieces, and the best way for them to do this is to block you into a smaller area (hence the name of the game Blokus?).
This game was a winner in a recent US Mensa Mind Games competition, and now has crowded out almost all other boardgames at recent local Mensa game parties (other than the equally fascinating abstract logic game Octiles).
i really liked this game. the best thing about this game is that you can play with all ages, and still have it be a challenge. it was easy to understand. it was challenging, but super fun. i thought that the game should have more one or two pieces, but other wise the pieces were fun. some of the pieces were oddly shaped, and made it hard to put the pieces in, but i suppose that's the fun of the game.
Simple to explain the rules, but difficult to
master. Every game leaves you wondering 'what
if' I had played that tile differently?
Each of the four players can start any of their
21 pieces as their first move (except the 'five
tile cross' piece). From then on it usually a
race to control or get through the center of
the board. The only rule is that your pieces
can only touch corner to corner and can never
touch anywhere else.
The trick of course is that the other three
players are also trying to control the board,
and the best way for them to do this is to
block you into a smaller area.
This game was a winner in a recent US Mensa Mind
Games competition, and now has crowded out almost
all other boardgames at recent local Mensa game
parties (other than the equally fascinating
Everyone who I introduce this game to really enjoys it.My 9 year old daughter loves this game as well and is a fairly good player.I thought that after alot of plays the game would become like chess where the opening of the game would always be the same but this is not so as you are always trying to respond to what the other players are doing.It seems as the game progresses there is always more than one place you want to play on your turn as you try to block others but also try to work your way into new areas.Places on the playing board that seem to have alot of empty space are quickly gobbled up.All this and a playing time of 20- 30 minutes what more could you ask?The only drawback is that 4 players is needed to truly enjoy.
No reading required -- this is the ideal game for multi-generational play, and even multi-language play. If you enjoy foreign friends but often have evenings of mono-syllabic conversations, get BLOKUS! This game takes less than 2 minutes to learn, but is continually challenging, frustrating, fascinating and compelling. We LOVE it -- and I have to buy them 5 at a time as gifts for all our friends and family.
It is a pity that Blokus is not so famous in USA yet. It is a great abstract game for 4 players and like these kind of games, easy to learn. I played the game with my grand mother and my father and my daughter. They all like it after a play with 3 minutes instruction. Simple, beautiful, and addictive. Wish you realize this new foreign game.
The game is extremely easy to learn. It takes about 3 minutes to explain the rules to someone who's never played before and another 3 minutes to explain basic strategy. But, after playing a few pieces, it becomes overtly obvious that each move must be examined for its offensive and defensive implications.
The only concern I have is the packaging. The box is unnecesarily oversized, making it cumbersome to carry with other games. Simply by building the board to fold in half would have reduced the size of the packaging significantly.
Still, I'm very pleased with this one and plan to introduce to several of my gamer groups; of all levels of players.
Where have I been? I do remember a small piece about this game in last years Games Magazines 100 best games, but I don't recall too much attention brought to this masterpiece. This game is fun, tense and with extreme depth. You must look ahead and play defense as well as quick expansion. It is addictive. Go to the web page on www.blokus.com before you buy it.(That's how I got hooked) You can play the two player game against a robot or sign into a session with the four player game. If you need a game to play with kids, it's also a winner. Buy the thing!
This is an exciting and addictive strategy game, possible to play with 2 players (you each take two colors) but much more fun for 4. Age does NOT matter and even very young kids could probably play the game well. Altogether this one is a really classic game. It combines the thoughtfulness of Chess with a very fast learning curve, handsome pieces that 'click' into the game board with a nice solid sound, and pretty visual patterns that the pieces create. ENJOY.
I love this game, and in spite of its largish box size, carry it with me to every game club/convention I go to, in hopes of getting a game together. In fact, its only down-side, in my book, is that it really is best with exactly 4 players. Although there are rules for two and three players, they really feel a bit like a kludge - the game is much, much better with four.
How to describe Blokus? Well, this is how I always describe it to friends: 'It may be the bastard love-child of Tetris and Go, but it's one of my favorite games.' Like all really good strategy games, IMHO, it has the barest minimum of rules - 2, or 3, depending on how you count it - but the strategic implications are deep, varied, and complex. The best way to teach it is to simply show someone the placement rules, and play a few games.
Another good feature of this game is that it plays fairly quickly. You can easily play 2 or 3 games in an hour - and yet it never seems simple or rushed. Nearly everyone wants to play a second game after trying their first, and it's a game that only gets MORE fascinating, the better you get at it.
People who DON'T like abstract strategy games may not like it - it has no 'story' or 'theme.' But for people who DO like the abstract kind of game, with absolutely NO luck factors will simply love this game. Unlike many abstract games, the players really do interact (and interfere) with each other directly - its not a 'mutual puzzle solving' type game. There is a definite Go-like quality to the game. Defending territory, planning ahead, and a geometrical sense of the pieces all will help your game.
Another thing about this game is its excellent physical quality. The pieces are bright and attractive, and well-made. Math Teachers may also like this game simply for the Quadranimoes and Quintaminoes (each piece is a unique arrangement of a certain number of squares).
The board grid is sturdy and the slightly transparent plastic pieces beautiful to play with. You can also play a number of solitaire puzzle-games using the pieces and grid.
As you can tell, I heartily recommend the game. It's a little expensive (though Funagain has it at the best price I've seen anywhere), but considering its quality and uses, well worth it. Another advantage is that the directions come in four languages, including English. If you like abstract strategy games, this one is definitely one not to miss.
I got Blokus for Christmas after reading about it in Games Magazine's Top 100 games issue. I was looking for a game that I could play with my family but also one that offered a depth of strategy. Blokus delivered on both counts. My sister-in-law who gave me the game said it is one of the few games I have ever asked for that she wanted to play. The first time she played she beat everyone at the table. After I returned home from the holidays I started taking Blokus along with a few other games I received for Xmas up to the local game shop and played it in their game area. It soon became the one asked for by name whenever I walked into the store. Great game!
This may be the prettiest game I own; the board looks like a stained-glass window when a game is finished. Apart from that, it is a fast playing and pleasant abstract game of territory grabbing. Our group enjoys it as a sort of gaming appetizer, before moving on to the main event of the day.
Imagine taking Tetris pieces and putting them onto a Go board. That's Blokus.
I've played this game twice and immediately liked it for its simple play with plenty of decision making.
The first player starts in one corner by laying down a piece, which come in blocks of 5, 4, 3, 2, and a 1 square. Each player, up to 4, starts in his/her own corner.
The next piece you put down has to butt up against a CORNER (NOT A SIDE) of the first piece you put down. And so it goes throughout the game until you can't put down any more pieces. The player with the fewest remaining pieces wins, or the last to have a legal move.
The game becomes a fight for territory. Initially you want to spread out, but at some point you wind up clashing with your opponents and then need to defend territory you've marked.
There's a good selection of pieces to make the game interesting. The board quickly fills up and your choices come down to a few at most, and some of those choices get eliminated when someone ahead of you plays.
The game only takes about 20 minutes for four people to play.
BLOKUS is a wonderful game that has high replay value and will appeal to every age group in your family. The game is simple to learn but difficult to master. My wife usually does not like family games but this is one she will pull out to play with the family. Gameplay is evenly matched... my 8 year-old can play against his older siblings or even the grandparents and all have the same chances of winning. This is the game that has reintroduced a FAMILY gamenight to our house. I highly recommend this game for any family.
This game is brilliant in it's ability to get players of all ages to understand and enjoy. The rules are so simple, it almost seems like child's play. But once you start playing you realize that there is deep strategy involved.
In order to truly master this game you must plot out your strategy many moves in advance. Also important is the ability to think on your toes and adjust your strategies if someone blocks you out.
The only slight drawback is that this game is really only for a 4 player group. We have tried all the variations suggested for 2 or 3 players and they do not flow as well as the 4 player game. But as long as you have 4 players available this is an excellent game.
Fun abstract game. Quick and best played with 4, I suspect. It involves each player staking out territory on the board with his/her 'tetris' shaped pieces. The trick is that pieces of your own color can only touch diagonally. Challenging as the boaard grows more full. Negative points are given for each leftover shape which won't fit on the board and bonus possitive points are given for using al the shapes and saving the one square shape for last. Attractive components and easy to learn.
While I'm not usually a fan of abstract games, I've found Blokus to be really great fun. In a good group it's fast-moving, highly competitive, and has a high 'groan-factor' as you see your clever plan foiled long before you get a chance to lay your next piece
Because you're 'fighting' on two or three fronts at the same time (depending on how clever or effectively the player across from you has played), there's never a moment of quiet, ideal for a 20-30 minute game (unless one of your competitors is prone to analysis paralysis, but because the game is light, some friendly heckling is usually a quick fix).
A few quick strategy tips: 1. It's generally best to get to the center of the board as quickly as possible in order to build 'paths' into other players' areas while you still have a chance. 2. Leave yourself lots of well-spaced corners with your early lays (e.g. use the stair-stepped piece well away from your corner, if possible, etc.). 3. If you have a choice between laying a piece that will block another player's corners or one that doesn't, it's almost always better to block. 4. Watch for sneaky paths other players will use to slip through your pieces and, whenever possible, block them long before they get a chance (seeing someone spill into your carefully created 'safe space' is no fun at all and will force you to play defensively). 5. It's fairly obvious, but it's essential to play your complex and large pieces early in the game: you will probably not have a chance after the first 10 minutes, and unless you've played exceptionally well, will almost undoubtedly not have the opportunity after 15 minutes.
Lastly, the game is fun with two players but in that mode I'd only give it three stars. In four-player mode it's clearly a five star game and well worth the quite reasonable price.
The game takes a long time to finish even once you know that you are going to lose by a long bit. Why? Because people start trying to figure out all of their options for the last 3 - 5 moves and even all of the options of their competitors to make sure that things cannot get blocked. Yikes! What a nightmare. Furthermore, the biggest part of the game is determined by whether other players cut you off or not. Since there are (usually) four players, it is not possible to protect yourself from all of the moves of each player, you'll find that what others do have more of an effect on your game that what you do. Couple that with players taking a long time to figure out what to do and you have a poor game in my opinion.
With that rant said, the game is beautiful and so simple that you can't help but be seduced into a few games. My advice is to put a 15 second time limit on each persons move so that people don't get lost staring at the board for minutes on end.
I like how elegant the game is in terms of rules and how beautiful the game pieces are. The big problem is that the game play is really not that fun to play. It often leads to analysis paralysis where certain players go through every option of the players near them. Arrrrrrhhhhhh! My condolences if this happens while you are in the game. Even so, if it does not happen, then there is no room for any inspiring plays. I think you lose either way with this game.
Congratulations to Educational Insights for publishing this colorful game (included in last year's Games 100 as an import). Your 21 colored pieces show all the ways in which one to five squares can be orthogonally joined. Use one piece to cover a corner square of the 20x20 board on your first turn. Thereafter, you may only place pieces that touch at least one of your other pieces--but only at corners! Only opposing pieces can meet at edges. Pass if unable to play. The game ends when everyone is blocked. Win by having unplayed pieces covering the smallest total area. The solitaire puzzle option is excellent practice for competitive play.
Twenty-one pieces in your color represent all the ways in which one to five squares can be joined orthogonally. On your first turn, lay a piece to cover a corner square of the 20 x 20 board. On subsequent turns, place a piece to touch at least at an edge. Anyone unable to play passes. Play ends when everyone is blocked, and the player with the fewest squared in unplayed pieces wins. Whether you tackle the vexing solitaire puzzle or get involved in the deep territorial intrigues of competitive play, you'll find this simple and colorful game addictively fascinating. Fans of this game can join the Blokus Federation at www.blokus.com.
Blokus is an in-your-face, territory domination game in abstract format. It is a highly interactive contest that is best with four players and with its fast play and good replay ability it is one of the more interesting, if lesser known, new games around. Part of its obscurity may be its French origin and the fact that few comments have been made about it in most of the normal German game sources.
The board is a raised plastic square with slightly raised gridlines. Each player receives an identical set of 21 pieces, with sizes from one to five grid-size squares in unique orientations. Each player's goal is to place as many pieces as they can on the board, with minus points assigned at the end equal to the total number of squares not placed. So, if I am left with a 5-square piece, a 3-square piece and a 2-square piece, I score negative 10 points.
The key, of course, is how the pieces are placed. The first piece must be placed in a corner of the board and each piece from then on must touch only the corners of any piece previously placed. This typically results in a fast race to the middle of the board in order to leave many expansion options open. On any given turn, there are obviously two choices to be made: which piece to place and where to place it. These decisions can be made to quickly place an unusually shaped piece that will be difficult to fit in later, to perfectly squeeze in a piece that has been left open by other placements, to create an outlet for more pieces by opening a new area of the board with a placement, or to play the right size piece to cut off an opponent's growth. In practicality, the best moves do several of these at once and the player that can see the board and its development best, along with good sequencing of their pieces, will prove victorious.
Within this straightforward process, amazingly intricate patterns develop and the choices for attack versus defense reveal themselves quickly. It is necessary to leave options open for growth, lest you be cut off without the right piece left to open up a new area of the board. It is especially satisfying to find a key placement that extends a seemingly dead-end link; of course, finding those spots for your opponent is also key. If you manage to place all of your pieces, you score a 15-point bonus and that is raised to 20 if you manage to place the one, single-square piece as your final play. These bonuses only make sense in the context of multiple games, obviously, since the only other scores are negative and thus zero would be an easy winner in a single game.
The pieces in Blokus are nicely colored plastic that are hearty enough for normal play, but will certainly break or crack if stepped on accidentally. The game comes packaged with rules in four languages, a trend that is nicely becoming more common especially with non-German European producers. There is a nice implementation of the game online at www.blokus.com, and it is worth trying the game here before buying a physical copy to see if this is your cup of tea. The physical game is worth owning, though, as it will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike and provides a refreshing and interesting play in a short period of time.
Each player begins the game with an assortment of geometric shapes. One player has all the red shapes, one has all the green shapes, etc. Players take turns deploying pieces to a grid-board in such a way that the piece touches a same-colored piece at one or more corners, but not along any edge. Once the board is mostly filled and no one can make a legal play, the game ends and the person whose remaining pieces have the smallest total area wins.
Although this summary may be a bit tricky to follow without the illustrations, the rules are actually extraordinarily simple. If your child understands what it means for two shapes to touch at a corner, and to touch along an edge, then your child will be able to grasp this game.
This game offers ample opportunity for kids to learn and exercise strategic and tactical thinking skills.
The game's biggest drawback is that it is really optimal with exactly four players. You can play with two players by doubling up colors, or with three players by using a neutral color, but these solutions aren't terribly satisfactory.
A couple of other things to be aware of before choosing this game: First, the pieces rest fairly shallowly in the board; clumsy kids may find themselves knocking the pieces out of their locations all too easily. Second, the number of available options dwindles dramatically in the second half of the game, so young players may need assistance in locating the few available legal moves.