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Store:  2-Player Games, Family Games
Edition:  Hive
Series:  Hive
Theme:  Bugs / Insects
Genre:  Abstract Strategy
Format:  Boardless Games


2nd edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
9+ 20-30 minutes 2

Designer(s): John Yianni

Manufacturer(s): Gen Four Two Games

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Product Description

Hive is a board game with a difference. There is no board -- as pieces are added to the playing area they create the board. Then as more and more pieces are added, the game becomes a fight to see who can be the first to capture the opposing queen bee.

The soldier ants battle to keep control of the outside of the hive. The beetles climb up to dominate the top. Spiders move into holding positions as the hoppers jump in for the kill.

Keep one eye on the hive and the other on your opponents reserves. The tension builds as one wrong move will see your queen quickly engulfed.

Product Awards

Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 2006
International Gamers Awards
Best 2-Player Game Nominee, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): John Yianni

  • Manufacturer(s): Gen Four Two Games

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 20 - 30 minutes

  • Ages: 9 and up

  • Weight: 336 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).


  • 22 wooden insect tiles:
    • 2 queen bees
    • 4 beetles
    • 6 grasshoppers
    • 4 spiders
    • 6 soldier ants

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.8 in 5 reviews

Sort reviews by:

Simple Rules, Quick Play, Deep Fun!
April 25, 2006

"Again!", says my wife.

"We just played three times and you want to play again?", I stammer in rapt incredulity!

"Again!", she demands...

A demand I willingly fulfill!

This game is easy to explain, easy to remember, easy to love! We play best out of five when time allows (read; when kids stay sleeping long enough). And we have had to get three copies thus far because guest keep leaving with our latest copy.

Amazing complexity in such a small game
January 17, 2004

One thing I must say is I believe that a previous reviewer thought that you couldn't end movement touching another colors piece. You can. The only restriction on touching an enemy color is when you are bringing a new piece into play, it may only touch your pieces. It can't touch an enemy piece at all.

The interaction of the various bugs is tough to coordinate as you opponent can pin and isolate your pieces even as you do the same to him.

The choices of which pieces to bring out in the first 4 are the start of hostilities. I like to start off with two beetles and the queen then a Grasshopper. This seems to allow a lot of flexibility in the early going.

A great game to carry with you it plays anywhere and always attracts people.

Fast and Fun
October 20, 2002

I am a big time gamer and Hive is a wonderful, simple to learn, difficult to master, 2 player game. It is a definite 5 star game in the category of 2 player games. The no luck factor goes along way with me. It goes anywhere since there is no board and has endless replay value. It is kind of like chess in 10-20 minutes. Great wood figures as well.

Beetle-Mania... but with spiders, ants and bees too
October 09, 2002

Having an interest in insects and other arthropods, purchasing this game was a given. Having it be a quick, two-player game that plays well was a bonus. I have found it to be a very enjoyable game, though lately I've been getting my abdomen handed to me. Although it is an abstract game, something about the different movement types (jumping, crawling, etc.) seem to really fit with the various arthropods depicted on the pieces. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

by Dr Jay
What's the Buzzzz?
January 13, 2004

All that Hive lacks is the Indonesian House Cricket scenario. Since those insects hop and hop fast, that would add to the liveliness of the game.

When my opponent, referred to as the Silver Player, started to play the game, we had no idea that three different games would result. The game starts out with a simple premise: Protect your Queen Bee from being taken over by your opponent's pieces.

Pieces consist of Three Driver Ants, Two Spiders, Two Beetles, and Two Grasshoppers. You must conserve your pieces, and the Silver Player did just that by holding back the Driver Ants. The Driver Ants remind one of the power of the chess pieces, Rook and Knight. The Driver Ants can move in any straight line direction around the blocks and can prove quite formidable when blocking the opponent's pieces.

The Grasshoppers were particularly enjoyable to move, because they can hop in any straight line. However, the Silver Player pinned my two grasshoppers in the third game. That brings up a nasty feature of the game. You must always form a chain with your blocks, and the chain can never be broken. If I had moved one of the pinned grasshoppers, I would have broken the chain.

The game starts with the Queen Bee having to appear by the fourth turn. You have two choices for each turn: move or place. You cannot do both, and that creates some fascinating dilemmas in deciding what to do.

As one discovers quickly, it is not a good idea to surround your Queen Bee with two of your pieces for protection. Then, the Queen Bee cannot break the chain. Also, the rules state you can surround a queen bee with your own pieces and your opponent's. That constitutes a win for either the Silver or Blue Player.

Spiders are quite troublesome in the game. As I discovered, the spiders can only move three spaces (no more, no less) around the periphery of the blocks. In the third game, the Silver Player effectively used his spiders to pin some of my blocks from moving to surround his queen.

One must keep a wary eye on colors matching. You cannot end the movement, say, of the Blue block next to another block of a Silver color. The colors have to match on all sides of each hexagonal block. That creates a hair-raiser when one is running through all the possibilities of trying to move an insect.

The third game proved our closest one for the Blue and Silver players. Each of us immediately placed two blocks to start surrounding the queen. Then, it became a contest of who had the most moves and pieces to finish the surrounding effort. I made an error by allowing two of my grasshoppers to be pinned and not taking advantage of the beetles' capability.

The beetles move one block or space. They can pin whatever is underneath and, for a time, change that opponent's color to the beetle's color. It is important to use the beetles wisely instead of letting them languish among the blocks.

As you can see, Hive hooks you, creates a buzz, and provides endless possibilities to pin the Queen Bee.

Other Resources for Hive:

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