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The HFoG Buyer's Guide

Abstract Games

Abstract games are games that have little or no theme.  They are typically (although not exclusively) two player games and they generally employ very little luck.  Chess, Go and Checkers fit in this category. These are games for the purists among us.

Here are my favorite abstract games.

Ingenious (Rio Grande Games - 2005)

Master game designer Reiner Knizia has written hundreds of games over the years. This is one of his latest and it's a gem. Ingenious (published as Einfach Genial in Germany) is a very clever abstract strategy game in which players place domino-like hexagonal tiles on a hexagonal grid in an attempt to score points in one of six categories. In order to win, players must try and do well in all six categories since their final score is their score in their worst category. This game is very simple to learn but it's very difficult to play well.

The Project GIPF Series (Rio Grande Games - 1998-2005)

Project GIPF is the name given to a very special series of two-player abstract strategy games.  Each of the games in this series is elegant, simple to learn and quick to play, clocking in at around 15 minutes.  Each one is very different (although there are common threads running throughout) and some of them are a bit better than others but they are all excellent.  If I had to pick one it would probably be DVONN (pictured above). My second choice would be Z»RTZ.

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