Starting life as a well-respected board game from Reiner Knizia, this gem has been transformed into a lovely PC game and it’s one cross over that I urge people to check out.
An abstract puzzler, Ingenious can be played from 1-4 players locally or online. The big hexagonal grid starts empty bar six different coloured starting tiles. Each turn you have involves you choosing one of your two tiled pieces and placing them against something already on the board. If you imagine invisible lines streaming from each of the tiles you place – you’ll score a point for each tile that joins consecutively along those lines. Each colour can earn up to 18 points before its board is complete. The twist is that the winner is declared when either all the tiles or spaces are used up and the winner is the person with the highest lowest scoring colour! This means you have to work on all six colours to make sure you don’t leave one way behind.
This is where the beauty of Ingenious comes in. Do you go for all of them equally or do you go nuts for one colour – hit 18 points and get a valuable extra turn? Do you hoard points or try to cut off someone else’s colour they are desperate to get and thus thwart their efforts but not extend your own? It’s these decisions you make every turn and each turn absolutely counts.
The graphics of the board mean each symbol is different so if you’re colour blind you can still differentiate the symbols from each other which is great. The music is ambient and does well to not annoy you straight out the bag. The modes of gameplay are quite limited with a single player tournament option and then local and online multiplayer but to be honest it doesn’t need messing about with. The core game is perfectly pitched and all new and seasoned strategy gamers should enjoy this.
~Easy to understand, hard to master
~Utterly addictive for short and long sessions
~Caters for colour blind players
~Faithful representation of the board game and takes away any maths
Ingenious lives up to its name perfectly. A wonderful concept that will hook you in with easy rules to understand and yet a mammoth amount of depth to undercover should you wish to go that far. If not, you can still enjoy it as a fun ten minute throw around – but then that’s part of its charm. You’ll still be going an hour later.