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bakelite edition

Your Price: $30.99
(Worth 3,099 Funagain Points!)

This item is temporarily out of stock []. You can still add the item to your cart and we will ship it to you as soon as it becomes available! It may also be available in another edition... try: Hive: Pocket


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 20-30 minutes 2

Designer(s): John Yianni

Manufacturer(s): Gen Four Two Games

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Product Description

Hive is a boardless, strategic game for 2 players ages 8 and up. The object of the game is to surround your opponent's queen bee while trying to block your opponent from doing the same to your queen bee.

Each player has 11 tiles, all in all, representing 5 different insects. The players take turns, either choosing to add a tile to the hive or moving a tile in the hive.

Each tile has a unique way of moving (like in chess) and resembles the movement of the insect depicted on the tile. For instance, the grasshopper is the only tile which can jump.

Hive is a fun game to play because of its simple rules, yet challenging for its depth. Hive enhances each player's skills of strategic planning, tactical thinking and spatial vision. To win, you must play both the offense (surround your opponent's bee) and the defense (to protect your queen bee).

A nice decorative storage bag makes it easy to carry, store and play anywhere.

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: 2007

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 20 - 30 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 806 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.


  • 22 insect tiles:
    • 2 queen bees
    • 4 beetles
    • 6 grasshoppers
    • 4 spiders
    • 6 soldier ants
  • rules
Hive has the following expansions available:
Hive: The Mosquito
(5% savings!)
Hive: Pillbug (Temporarily Out of Stock)
(3% savings!)
You might be interested in these related products as well:
English language edition (Restocking)
(10% savings!)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 7 reviews

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This is good stuff…
September 21, 2008

This is good stuff… really good… pure strategy and tactics… no luck here. Like chess the opening is all about strategy. Which pieces will you bring out first and where will you place them. The middle game is the battle, one that usually goes back and forth several times. Often you will think you have it won… but then find you lack the fire-power… coming up one piece short of making the final kill. And the end game is pure tactics… a blunder against a better player, and you will lose. This game has become one of our favorite lunch-time games at work. It’s awesome… it’s deep… the more you play (like chess) the more you see how good this game really is. And it plays in 20-30 minutes which makes it excellent for those times when you do not have a lot of time (like lunch). It is also easy to transport, plays almost anywhere, and the Bakelite pieces are of the highest quality (thick and heavy… they feel good in your hands and stay-put on the table)… what more can I say?

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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Player 1 always wins
September 30, 2007

Any good board game normally has simple rules, but is built in such a way that it is not obvious how to build a winning strategy.

This game is quite the opposite.

As you can see from the picture, there are 5 different creatures, each has its own rules how it can move during the game, plus the game has its own constraints such as the hive has to be connected at all times. The only thing that is not taken into consideration when you make a move is maybe the layout of stars in the sky.

So after you spent 15 minutes reading the rules, and another hour trying to explain it to your kids, you get to play maybe 10 or 15 times, and by then all players have pretty much figured out the winning strategy. Because of the constraint that the hive has to be connected at all times, you use your ant to lock in the enemy bee, and then you can tell exactly in how many turns you win. First player who can do it wins. This is normally player 1 unless you are new to the game.

You then use the two other ants to make it impossible for the bee to escape; you use your choice of grasshoppers or spiders to take the remaining 2 squares. Once you started winning, the fact of it is obvious to both players, and nothing can be done about it. You have about 8 more turns before the end of the game, and it is clear who won, so you just stop the game at that point.

The author spent too much time trying to come up with a set of complicated rules, and it still doesn't give any flexibility to the game.

The only good thing about this game is maybe the quality of porcelain pieces - they feel really good in your hand. But of course there is no much use of it since the game is quite unplayable.

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