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Store:  Family Games, 2-Player Games
Edition:  TAMSK
Series:  Project GIPF
Genre:  Abstract Strategy
Format:  Board Games


formerly part of the GIPF series

Funagain Games does not stock this edition of this title [], usually because it's out of print.

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 15 minutes 2

Designer(s): Kris Burm

Manufacturer(s): Schmidt Spiele

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Product Description

TAMSK is a game for 2 players, which is played under permanent time pressure. Both players start the game with 3 hourglasses and 32 rings. The hourglasses are the playing pieces; the aim is to get rid of as many rings as possible. Each turn you must move one of your hourglasses and turn it over; next you may play a ring in the newly covered space. The more spaces you visit, the more rings you will be able to play. But watch your hourglasses closely; each one that runs out of time is lost!

TAMSK introduces time as a substantial strategic element. If you are prepared to think fast and to play quickly without losing your cool, then you have the right attitude. Enjoy the pressure!

A clarifying note from designer Kris Burm about the GIPF Project expansion Set #1 and the TAMSK potentials included with the TAMSK game:

As you maybe know, enclosed in the TAMSK box are 3 white and 3 black TAMSK-potentials. These are samples. You need a minimum of 3 potentials of each color to get a feeling of how they change a game of GIPF. The GIPF Project Expansion Set #1 contains 12 TAMSK-potentials; 6 potentials per color is the standard number to play with. The kit is meant to give players who like playing with the potentials the possibility to get more potentials without needing to buy a second game of TAMSK. That aside, it is also meant to serve those who want to find out what potentials are all about without needing to purchase TAMSK.

2007 Update: Kris Burm released PÜNCT at Spiel 05, apparently finishing Project GIPF, his series of six abstract games that rank head and shoulders over almost all others -- but as it turns out, there's been a change of plans. TAMSK is being removed from the GIPF series and will be replaced by TZAAR. TAMSK will be republished as a separate, stand-alone game.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Kris Burm

  • Manufacturer(s): Schmidt Spiele

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 15 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Est. time to learn: 10-20 minutes

  • Weight: 1,142 grams

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


  • 1 gameboard
  • 3 red hourglasses
  • 3 black hourglasses
  • 1 15-second timer
  • 64 rings
  • 2 ringholders

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3 in 1 review

This time, it's different
January 25, 2006
All of Project Gipf is unique and innovative, but Tamsk has the least similarity to the other five in the now complete series. An hexagonal board arrangement seems to be the one thread that binds it to the others. The pieces are sand timers, the object is to drop rings around them. The player with the fewest rings left when the game ends is the winner.

It is seen as the weakest of the series by many, but that might be because it is not approached with the right frame of mind. The game is the shortest of the group because of its timers, which is refreshing because the others can take a while to play out. Strategy in the game, keeping timers alive while cutting off your opponent, is more straightforward in this game than the others. The game is much more of a free for all than the others, and can generate some nail biting.

The drawback for the game, as pointed out by creator Kris Burm himself, is that the timers are not synchronized. If they deviate badly they will skew the game. Making them more precise would make the game far too expensive.

Tamsk is visually appealing and exciting. It can be nerve wracking and is not as complex as the others, but it is a nice, light diversion amidst its deeper siblings.

Other Resources for TAMSK:

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