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A minute of rules, then a lifetime of fun for the whole family!
See the numbers, letters and symbols? You have one tile for each type of space on the board. Play your tiles strategically to form the fewest clusters of your color on the board AND to block and capture your rivals. Rules include different ways to play as well as tips on Strategies!
Develops strategic thinking
Fun for the whole family; the game can be played cooperatively or competitively
Blockers! is a reimplementation of Kory Heath's abstract game Uptown, which was first released in 2007, and has now been reissued in a brand new edition with some minor tweaks to the rules, notably the scoring and win condition.
The 9x9 board looks somewhat like a Sudoku puzzle. Players draw tiles in their colour which have on them either a letter, a number or a picture; which indicates where you may place the piece, i.e. numbers correspond to columns, letters to rows, and pictures to one of the 9 parts of the board. The idea is to place your pieces so that if possible they are adjacent and form as few groups as possible, and this will determine the winner. But there's intense competition, and that's what makes the game so interesting. The Blockers edition has changed the win condition from Uptown as follows: "The new rule is that at the end of the game you count the number of your groups and the number of your captures of the color you captured most, and add these numbers together; the player with the lowest total wins."
The changed rule is a good one, and luck-of-the-draw can further be mitigated by adopting the recommended variant which has all players start with their wild tile available. Blockers! scales well, and perhaps best of all it is very accessible. The abstract nature of the game actually enhances the chances that you'll be able to introduce this successfully to everyone but the most hardened anti-gamer. It's not a brain-burner, but there's enough tactical and strategic thought to make it interesting, and the winner will more often than not be determined by skill rather than luck of the draw, without it ever feeling like the mind-number experience of a pure abstract like Chess or Go.
This game is a reprint of Uptown, which is a clever and innovative game, quick to learn and play, but with lots of replay. I've enjoyed many hours of teaching it and playing it.
The pieces are nicer than the cardboard tiles of Uptown, but that's not the important part. The board is nicer also, but that's not the important part. The important part is a small rule change that actually makes a big difference. You want the lowest score in the game, and your score is the number of groups plus the largest number of tiles you captured from one person. So if you have two groups, and you captured four of George's tiles and three of Frank's tiles, your score is 6 (2 + 4). This little change makes the game surprisingly better.
But I'd also recommend it because, hey, the pieces are cool.