Sunday, September 05, 2010

#92: Batik

  • designer: Kris Burm
  • publisher: Gigamic
  • date: 1997
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2517/6.03
  • position on my top 100 in 2005: did not appear
  • age: 6+
  • # of players: 2
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $24.00 (Boards & Bits)
This is my kind of abstract game - playable in a couple of minutes, gorgeous to look at, and focused on spatial relationships rather than thinking 4+ moves ahead. In fact, the game plays so quickly that we usually use the "tournament" rules... extending the game out to a whole ten minutes. :-)

Players have identical sets of wooden pieces which they take turns dropping into a vertical holder with clear plastic sides... when one of the pieces pokes over the top of the holder, the player loses. (In tournament rules, they lose that piece & the "winner" of the round starts the next round... first player to not be able to play a piece loses the tournament.)

It's a great filler game for two players... and is kid-friendly enough to be taught to kids as young as 5. In fact, Gigamic has produced a Batik Kid with pieces shaped like sea creatures.

BTW, though I'm not a big fan of abstract games, the designer of Batik has a great track record with abstracts for people who don't like abstracts: I think Zertz, Dvonn & Tamsk are all great games, though they don't appear in my top 100.


Tom Vasel said...

I was with you until the line "abstracts for people who don't like abstracts". While I won't deny that these are great games, there is NO WAY Zertz or Tamsk fall in this category. They are "gamer games" for abstract lovers. Not easy for newcomers. Yinsh, yes. But still quite deep.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Zertz, Tamsk & Dvonn all have a shrinking board in common - which means that the decision tree self-prunes as you go forward, rather than becoming larger. That makes them more non-abstract-lover friendly.