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Black Box+
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Store:  2-Player Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Black Box
Genre:  Logic & Deduction
Format:  Board Games
Other:  Essen 2007 releases

Black Box+

includes standard and hexagonal boards

Your Price: $29.95
(Worth 2,995 Funagain Points!)

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Abstract Strategy Nominee, 2009

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 15 minutes 2

Designer(s): Eric W Solomon

Manufacturer(s): Franjos

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Product Description

Players of Black Box attempt to deduce the structure of a hidden molecule comprising a small number of atoms. The molecule is concealed in a "box" and the atoms affect rays which players direct into the box. From where the rays emerge or get absorbed, it is possible to deduce the structure of the molecule.

The original game is a classic among deduction games and is included along with the new hexagonal version, which is a real challenge even for experienced players.

Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Abstract Strategy Nominee, 2009

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Eric W Solomon

  • Manufacturer(s): Franjos

  • Year: 2007

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 15 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 695 grams

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


  • 1 double-sided game board
  • 6 wooden balls
  • 42 colored wooden ray markers
  • 1 notepad with Black Box diagrams
  • 1 book of Black Box puzzles

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 8 reviews

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by Game Reviewer
Great Deduction Game!!
April 10, 2008

Black Box+ is a fabulous pair of games in one box. Most game players who like deductive reasoning have played or are familiar with the original square Black Box. But now the new hexagonal version adds a whole new level of enjoyment. The deduction is more demanding and fun!

With both the Square and Hexagonal versions on opposite sides of the board, its like a beginner AND an advanced game for one price. My friend and I used to play (regular) Black Box years ago. Now we have been playing the Hexagonal Black Box for a while and we like it even more.

If you like deductive reasoning, you'll love Black Box+!

by Biggest Black Box Fan
Wow - Black Hexagon is fantastic!
October 17, 2007

This review is for the CURRENT version, "Black Box +".

I've loved Eric Solomon's "Black Box" since the Parker Bros. version in the late seventies - what a great game! Now the new hexagonal version is even more challenging and complex (= "more fun!") than ever. I've found a new favorite with a familiar feel, but a whole new dimension.

Franjos has done a great job bringing the old and new game out together in a form that will be sure to please - the quality of the game board and pieces are on par with top manufacturers. I found the instruction booklet clear and helpful. There is even a suggested rule that players agree not to "hide" arrangements that lead to ambiguous results (such as an undetectable position that forces guessing to solve).

As an avid Black Box player, I find the hexagonal adaptation logical and easy to negotiate, but it seems to offer (and require) a great deal more deep thinking in discovering solutions. I couldn't be more pleased!

My favorite all-time game
October 05, 2002

I have owned this game for over 20 years. I have yet to see a better game for logical deduction and geometric concepts. The game can be played with others or by yourself. I have been looking to get another copy of this game for over 10 years. Thank you Funagain Games. Anyone that would rank this game below a 3 probably likes dice games.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Wonderkind Jr.
A Great Find - The Brains
March 02, 2008

I was introduced to this game by a friend. As she explained the rules, the depth became clear. With a basic understanding of the premise, you can start right away. As one plays however, the variety of strategies appear one after another. Before long, you find yourself taking different approaches based on how the game unfolds.

I love the fact that there are different roles to be played and each person gets a turn at each role.

It's the straightforward approach of Battleship crossed with the deduction of Clue. It's a great game of logic and reason.

I'm glad I bought this updated version of blackbox+ for my kids and myself.

by Paul
Never Explored This Fully...
January 01, 2003

I used to own this game as a kid, but I never played any of the solo variations. I never cared much for solo play on any game that wasn't electronic...

I agree with another of the writers that at the time this seemed really high tech. For something made of plastic, I think this would be one of the few games that could hold it's own overall in 'appearance' as well as having nice game play.

One major downside though as a 2-player game; there is a way to hide your 'marbles' such that the the last one your opponent will be guessing is in one of two 'squares' making it a 50% guess for them and not pure logic. I distinctly remember being able to do that and used it as a means of beating opponents. That's why I rate it only 4 stars. But think of it as an upside for a child/teen - they have to get to that point - which is a fair amount of logical reasoning!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Almost as much fun as when I was a kid
April 14, 2002

I guess I'm just nostalgic and like the one-on-one interaction that a board game provides vs a computer game. I fondly remembered the 1978 domestic version and recently ordered the Franjos import to play with my 3rd grader and 1st grader, and we have had a great time. One practical consideration of the current Franjos incarnation is that the Black Box itself is a felted mat, and the marbles that one places to guess locations tend to roll around too much to be useful. We have successfully substituted pennies for the marbles. The Parker Bros version of the game -- a true plastic black box, as I recall -- tended to be designed a little better for ease of use. A fun game, in any case, for curious, logic-minded folks.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Good game, makes player think, can be played solo, or remote
May 30, 2001

I enjoyed this game as a kid. I liked the 'board' as it seemed so high-tech next to cardboard playing surfaces of most board games. While I admit that computers offer faster and flashier interfaces, some kids like a more tactile play experience. The lid closes on a set game, and preserves it for resumed play at a later time. I especially liked the markers with the symbol cutouts, they were just the coolest to use as stencils in drawing.

One thing the previous reviewer didn't mention was that the game can be played solo using the 40 games listed in an accompanying booklet. The player decides were to send in a ray and then looks up the result for that ray. The list of results substitutes for a second 'player'. Additionally a second player could supply a list of results and the game could be played in turns by two people remotely using mail or email. (Actually, you could do this with a paper grid, but the Black Box is just so COOL).

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Formerly good game supplanted by PC's
April 21, 2001

At one point back in my childhood, I had Black Box. In the game, one player establishes a secret map of several balls on a grid. The other player then sends hypothetical 'rays' into the board grid, and the first player tells the result of the ray entering. It might ricochet around because of the balls' effect on them, it might be absorbed by hitting a ball head-on, or it might be reflected right back. The second player tries to determine the array in as few turns as possible.

I played this a lot as a child, with my dad willingly setting up the puzzles for me to solve. I don't see how it could have been much fun for him.

And that is why I find the game so disappointing by today's standards. One player essentially sits out, only serving as moderator for the other player's efforts. Each player is only really having much fun when they are guessing, so games must be played back-to-back. In this day and age, computers are readily available to take the part of the moderator without complaint. There are some decent freeware and shareware implementations of the game out there, and the computer never messes up on its evaluations (something my dad did on occasion).

About the only way I would recommend Black Box is if you are in a situation like mine was. You have a precocious child and want to spend some quality time as you help that child develop deductive powers. For a pair of adults looking for a game that is fun to play together, definitely look elsewhere.

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

Other Resources for Black Box+:

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