Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Catching on to Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey
Brawn: Cheeky Monkey is a nice, intermediary quick game. Running about 20-30 minutes--and shorter if you play lightning rounds like Square Wonton recommends for hilarity--this game is great to play in between those three to four hour monsters.
Appeal: The graphics are extremely well-done. It's clear which animal is which. Square Wonton has no issue with the design of this game.
Damage: With a price tag of about $15 + shipping, Cheeky Monkey is worth picking up from Amazon (or check out your friendly local gaming store)!
Amusement: Cheeky Monkey is an entertaining game for those 'tween times, or for new players. It is super easy to learn!
Skill: Seriously. Easy. To. Learn. Seeing as how the art on the back of the cards is educational, Square Wonton can see this game geared towards families with little ones as well as those adult-like folk looking to kill some time.
Square Wonton's Approval: Although not the highlight of a game night, Cheeky Monkey is a great filler game for those attending your game night an hour late while you're in the midst of a thrilling two-hour, aren't-you-so-glad-you-were-on-time game. It is also a great choice for family game night.

Animal Score Cards
Cheeky Monkey  is a push-your-luck tile drawing game where the objective is to have the most number of points! You earn points by having the largest zoo and the majority of an animal type (or more).

Square Wonton recommends 4-6 players for Cheeky Monkey. If you have less, try playing lightning rounds where each player must draw tiles as quickly as possible! Lightning rounds is also a nice alternative for experienced Cheeky Monkey players. It forces you to pay better attention to everyone else's zoos, or else you lose!

How to Play
Bag of Animal Tiles
Decide turn order in whichever fashion you prefer! The square animal score cards are placed in the center. Each player draws the round animal tiles from the bag, then when he or she chooses to end the turn, the player arranges his or her zoo in a single stack. There are varying numbers of each animal in the bag, corresponding to the number on the tiles. If you have two elephants, then you have the majority (important)!

A player busts if he or she draws two of the same animal tile. So, if you've drawn a kangaroo, it's likely that you will draw another as there are seven total in the bag. Busting means that all tiles drawn (not already in your zoo) are tossed back into the bag!

If you don't bust, then you can arrange your zoo in a single stack, however you like. Strategically is better. :3

Stack Your Zoo!
Now, the game is a little more interactive than Square Wonton has thus far described. When the player draws an animal that another player has on the top of his or her zoo stack, the drawing player can steal all of the like-animals on any other players' zoo stack. Strategy tip: if you get a good haul this way, let's say of zebras, Square Wonton recommends you herd that shit right away!

Herding your zoo means that if you only have one animal type in your current pot of animals, you can place all of them at the bottom of your zoo, thus safe-guarding them from those other ruffians...

In addition to stealing other player(s)' animals, drawing the cheeky monkey allows the player to swap the monkey with the top tile of another person's zoo. An advantage to swapping the monkey is that you are very likely to draw another one and steal it back!

F*king Kangaroo!
Play passes around the table until there are no more animals left. Once the last tile is drawn, each player counts the animals in his or her respective zoo. Each animal scores one point. The animal score tiles that are in the center of the board award bonus points to the player holding the majority in his or her zoo. No one gets the points in the case of a tie. Sad day.

For example, if you have 6/10 of the cheeky monkeys, then you receive the pink monkey tile and the additional ten points to your zoo score! The player with the highest score wins!

Basic Summary of Play

  1. Decide turn order.
  2. Draw tiles until player decides to stop or busts.
  3. If tile drawn matches the top tile of another player's zoo stack, the current player can steal the animal.
  4. If the player draws a cheeky monkey, he or she can swap the monkey for the top animal of another player's zoo.
  5. When the player stops, he or she can arrange the animal tiles in a single column in any desired order.
  6. If the player draws two of the same animal tile, he or she busts! All tiles drawn (traded and/or won) are tossed back into the bag!
  7. If a player only has one animal type, the player can choose to herd the pack. Herding places the animals safely at the bottom of the zoo stack.
  8. The bag moves on to the next player, and he or she draws until busts.
  9. Play continues until there are no tiles left in the bag.
  10. The animal score cards are awarded to the player with the majority of the animal type! If there is a tie, no one gets the bonus points!
  11. Each player counts each animal tile in his or her zoo as one point each and adds up the bonus point value listed on the awarded animal score card(s)!
  12. The player with the most points wins!
Cheeky Monkey is a wonderful, light game and perfect for those in between times! Pick up the game, and pick out some friends to play you some Cheeky Monkey. Game on!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Key to Medici

Brawn: Medici is a great, simple bidding game. Combining the simplicity of play and the various game strategies one could take, Square Wonton says this bidding game is up there in the ranks.
Appeal: The artwork is really well done. Everything has a cool water-color look that complements the ship and dock feel. Some of the images aren't the most clear, like the fur appearing like dirty bags.
Damage: Amazon has Medici ranging from $22 to $27. Definitely a reasonable buy.
Amusement: When we have 6 players, Square Wonton often suggests Medici. It is also a great game for those looking for little to kind of high involvement. Everyone likes Medici!

Skill: To win the game against experienced players, this one takes some skill (but isn't that the case with many games??). One can just sit back and go with little plan in mind and get a mid-range place, too.

Square Wonton's Approval: If you haven't played Medici, you are missing out on a really super fun game!

Medici Board
Medici is a competitive goods bidding game. Each player's goal is to have the most money at the end of the game. This is an easy competitive, interactive game for beginning to advanced gamers. The basic idea is to have the highest ship value of a limited number of different types of goods, while bidding less than you'll earn at the end of each day. Sounds somewhat complicated at first, because there are a few moving parts. But never fear! Medici is a fantastic, simple-ish game!

Square Wonton recommends 5-6 players for a more competitive Medici. If you prefer to be slightly less competitive, then Square Wonton thinks you should play with 3-4 players. The great thing about Medici is that it scales really well for the number of players listed on the box. :3

How to Play
Pick your ship color! Each player places one of his or her colored, wooden markers on the lowest level of each good on the board. Your remaining marker is placed on the track along the outside of the board to tally one's money. Each player starts with forty monies when you have 3-4 players, and 30 monies when you have 5-6 players. Square Wonton has found that like Ticket to Ride, keeping points around the edge of the board is not the best way to keep score. It's super easy to bump the table and make a mess of the whole thing! It's also a pain with bidding. Not impossible, or even the worst thing in the world. Just a pain. Usually, Square Wonton uses poker chips instead of the outside track. If you have a set lying around, use it!

The rules state that for every player present, you leave 6 tiles in the bag per player. So, if you have three players, you remove 18 tiles from the bag at random - don't let anyone see the removed tiles! It's a secret to all players! If you have four players, you remove 12 tiles from the bag; with five players you remove 6 tiles from the bag, etc.

Medici Good Tiles & Tile Bag
The tiles all have an image indicative of the good, and a number that is used to calculate the ship value at the end of each day. The higher the ship value, the more points you get at the end of the day! Of course, it's not a good strategy to overbid your winnings for a good looking tile or tile-set. There is a special tile that is not worth any goods value, but is a ten (yes, folks, that's right) value tile. That almost always guarantees big ship.

Once you've removed the correct number of tiles from the bag, roll a die, have a breath-holding contest, or whatever you want to decide who goes first. The first player randomly draws tiles one at a time, anywhere from one to three tiles, from the bag to be the auctioned lot. The lot must be auctioned as a whole and cannot be divided. The lot also cannot exceed the number of available ship spaces on anyone's ship. So, if all players have two or less available ship spaces, the lot can be only up to two good tiles.

Medici Won Lot
Bidding starts with the player to the left of the person who drew tiles, allowing the person whose turn it is to be in the "sweet spot." Each player may choose to bid any amount of his or her monies higher than the previous bid. So the first player to bid may pass or bid any amount over zero, the second player to bid may pass or must bid higher than the first player to bid, and so on. If all other players pass, the player that drew the lot can pay a single money to take the lot! That is why it's the "sweet spot." If no one wants the lot, the goods are dumped in the drink!

The auction winner places the won goods onto his or her ship. The player then moves his or her respective wooden marker one step up the ladder for each won good. If using the outside track to record money, the player indicates on the board that he or she spent the money bid by moving the marker down.

Once the lot is auctioned off or dumped overboard, play continues clockwise. The next player chooses between one to three good tiles for the new lot. Play keeps going in this pattern. Once your ship is full, your ship has sailed for the day. You are unable to bid on any further lots. Someone obviously will end up with an unfilled ship and no competition because everyone else's ships have sailed. The last player without a filled ship draws random tiles from the bag until his or her ship is filled (or the bag is empty).

Medici Goods - Day 1
Now that all the players' ships have sailed, the day ends and additional income is awarded accordingly for each good and the ship rankings. Only the first and second players in each good receive points. First place gets ten extra points, and second place gets five points. In the event of a tie for first place, the bonus points for first and second place are added up then divided evenly, rounding down. If players tie for second place, those measly five points are divided evenly among the tied players, rounding down.

Total ship value is calculated by adding up the numbers on the goods tiles. See? Those numbers are finally important. The amount of revenue earned from big ship is based on the number of players, with the player with the smallest ship always receiving no bonus points. If there is a tie, you add the place and the next place together and divide by two, rounding down. For example, if two people tie for second place in a 6 player game: 20 + 15 = 35/2 = 17 (17.5 rounded down).

3 Players
4 Players
5 Players
6 Players
1st place - 30 
1st place - 30 
1st place - 30 
1st place - 30 
2nd place - 15 
2nd place - 20 
2nd place - 15 
2nd place - 20 
3rd place - 10  
3rd place - 10 
3rd place - 15 

4th place - 5 
4th place - 10

5th place - 5

Once points have been distributed for the first day, the whole process starts again. Count up your points, because the player with the lowest score goes first. Draw tiles for a lot on which to bid, fill up your ships, day two ends, and distribute points. Do it all again for day three, and that's the end of the game!

Basic Summary of Play
  1. Pick your ship color and place the wooden markers on the board for each good.
  2. Place the money marker at along the edge of the board (40 for 3-4 players, 30 for 5-6 players), or use poker chips to track your capital.
  3. Decide who goes first!
  4. Depending on the number of players, secretly and randomly remove the appropriate number of good tiles from the bag. No peeking!
  5. Pull tiles from the bag (up to three max, two or less if no player has three empty ship spaces).
  6. Bidding begins with the player to the left, allowing the tile-drawer to be in the "sweet spot."
  7. Each player can bid or pass once. Highest bid wins!
  8. Winning bid is deducted from that player's capital. Move the marker along the edge of the board accordingly.
  9. If no one wants the goods, throw them overboard! They are out for the remainder of this day!
  10. Add the goods to your ship.
  11. Move your wooden marker up for each good in your ship.
  12. Repeat steps 5-11 until everyone's ship is full, or there are no tiles left in the bag.
  13. Calculate ship value and distribute points!
  14. Give points to 1st and 2nd place player in each good - 10pts, 5pts. Remember ties are split, rounding down!
  15. Start a new day! The player with the lowest number of points/monies goes first.
  16. Repeat steps 4-15 until three (game) days have passed!
  17. Determine the winner!
Although Square Wonton might have made Medici seem more complicated than it actually is, this game is definitely one to try if you've been bit by the gaming bug. Pick it up, borrow it from a cool friend, and play Medici! Game on!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Geek and Sundry's TableTop - Ticket to Ride

If you're still dubious about Ticket to Ride, check out Wil Wheaton's webisode of TableTop. You won't be dubious for long!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Being Famous - Geek and Sundry's TableTop

Hi there fellow gamers! Thanks for following Gaming Wonton! The next post will be out soon, promise!

In the meantime, some of Square Wonton's favorite geeks have put together some really fun-looking web-series that will air very soon. One in particular co-created and hosted by Wil Wheaton rings one heck of a bell with Gaming Wonton. View the trailer!

Game on!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Eat Poop You Cat!

Eat Poop You Cat!
Brawn: Eat Poop You Cat is the best telephone type game out there! It combines the elements of Pictionary and telephone to a wonderful amalgamation of awesome-ness!
Appeal: Truly depends on whom you choose to play Eat Poop You Cat. Not everyone is an artist, but almost all finished games of Eat Poop You Cat are hilarious!
Damage: Do you own a few sheets of paper? Some pencils? Several friends--preferably an odd number--with a good sense of humor in the same room? Then you have the necessary resources to play Eat Poop You Cat!
Amusement: When it is party time, Eat Poop You Cat tends to come out to join in the fun! Even when it is not party time, and there are enough players, Eat Poop You Cat is passed around the various gaming tables.

Skill: No skill is required as long as you have no shame!

Square Wonton's Approval: Get your friends together, because Square Wonton demands you play Eat Poop You Cat!

The origins of Eat Poop You Cat seem to be a mystery. In the amount of time ten minutes of research can afford, Square Wonton found that Eat Poop You Cat has existed since early 2001. However, this game existed under other names dating back to the early 1920s and possibly earlier. Eat Poop You Cat is a telephone-like game that goes from a sentence to a picture to a sentence and so on until the ending sentence is a far (and often hilarious) cry from the original. Square Wonton recommends any odd-number of players over 5. It is possible to play with an even-number of players, but easiest with an odd-number. The main objective is to interpret the previous sentence or picture and convert it to a picture or sentence respectively in an alternating pattern.

How To Play
Get a piece of paper or two and some pens or pencils. Roll a die, or do whichever starting player decision-making method you choose to determine who goes first. The starting player and the ending player must write a sentence. No exceptions.

Fold Down & the Same Direction
The starting player chooses a mundane, uncomfortable, wacky, or whatever type of sentence to start the game. Then he or she passes the paper to the next player. The next player must draw the sentence to the best of his or her ability. Once the second player is finished, he or she folds the paper so only his or her drawing can be seen. Square Wonton recommends you fold the paper towards you, and for all players to fold the same direction.

Then the paper is passed to the next player. The third player must now write a sentence describing the drawn image. When finished, he or she folds the paper so the image can no longer be seen (nor the original sentence) and passes the paper to the next player.

The game continues until everyone has had a chance to draw or write a sentence. Then, whoever wins the honor of reading the first and last sentences in an epic battle to the death opens up the page for laughter and merriment for all.

Basic Summary of Play

  1. Get paper and writing utensil(s).
  2. Choose a starting player.
  3. Make up a sentence, and write it down at the top of the paper.
  4. Pass the paper to the next player.
  5. Second player draws a picture of the sentence.
  6. Fold the paper so only the picture can be seen.
  7. Pass the paper to the next player.
  8. Third player writes a sentence of the picture.
  9. Fold the paper so only the just written sentence can be seen.
  10. Continue steps 4 to 9 until all players have had a chance to write or draw something.
  11. Open up the page and read the first and last sentence. Look at the transitions and laugh or marvel at the other players' interpretations.
If you want to only play Eat Poop You Cat, you can give everyone a piece of paper to come up with a starting sentence and pass around the room or table in an orderly fashion. If you have an even number of people, it is best to let everyone have a starting sentence, or at least have a couple different games going on simultaneously. Eat Poop You Cat is a wonderfully hilarious game! Square Wonton definitely recommends you to try it out! Best part is that you don't have to invest anything to start having fun!

A Leaky Faucet Saved the Town from the Invading Amazons Page 1
A Leaky Faucet Saved the Town from the Invading Amazons Page 2
For more Eat Poop You Cat, Square Wonton has some links!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Your Ticket to Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride
Brawn: Ticket to Ride fairs better as far as difficulty than games like Transamerica. However, there are some train based games out there that go head-to-head competitively even more so.
Appeal: This aspect is where Ticket to Ride shines; there are some very nice illustrations on the game board and all the cards. The only drawback is the card size: too tiny!!!
Damage: While not the cheapest, Square Wonton was able to pick up Ticket to Ride from Amazon for $32 and change. The price ranges seen recently are between $30-$40.
Amusement: Oh boy, this game is fun! There is a ton of replay-ability, and it is a great game for beginners to board games.

Skill: Record teaching time so far is about ten to fifteen minutes--depending on the audience's attention span. To make a score above 80 takes a game or two to pick up an appropriate strategy.

Square Wonton's Approval: Ticket to Ride is a fantastic game! It is definitely one to pick up and play! Add it to your gaming repertoire!

Ticket to Ride Game Board
Ticket to Ride is a competitive train track placing game. The objective is to have the highest score at the end of the game. You can score points in several ways, and a player's end score is not known by other players (because you keep your ticket cards secret until the end). A player can make Ticket to Ride super difficult if he/she chooses!

Square Wonton recommends 3-4 players for Ticket to Ride, although the game is playable and super competitive at the max number of players (5). There are some rules differences from a 2 or 3 player game versus a 4 or 5 player game.

How to Play
Train Cars!
Choose your favorite color--out of red, yellow, green, blue, or black! These are your trains that you lay down on the board when you complete a route from city to city. There are Ticket cards, which link two locations with a designated point value indicated on the card if the route is achieved. The designated point values range from four to twenty-two points, depending on the difficulty linking the two cities! These are shuffled and three Tickets are dealt to each player. Players may choose to discard one of the Tickets if he or she deems the route unmanageable. Discarded ticket cards are placed at the bottom of the Ticket deck. You also must shuffle and deal out four of the super tiny, too-many-for-one-person-to-shuffle little train car and locomotive cards. Some day, when you've played this game a million times, these train and locomotive cards will be un-shuffle-able. Promise.

The rules state that the starting person is determined by the most experienced traveler, although the rules fail to dictate what that really means. The most experienced could mean the person that has traveled on the most number of different modes of transport, or the most distance traveled, or the longest distance traveled in one trip. Square Wonton also doesn't really like rules that play favorites to ages (youngest goes first, oldest goes first, etc). What does this mean for you? Square Wonton recommends rolling a die, flipping a coin, whatever order choosing method you prefer. :3

Each player's turn is relatively simple. You can choose one of three actions: draw train car cards, lay down tracks to claim one route, or draw additional tickets.

Rainbow Locomotive and Train Car Cards (left) and Five Flipped Up Car Cards (right)
There are five train car cards flipped up at all times. The player may choose two visible cards, or draw two at random. When drawing two visible, face-up cards, the flipped up cards are refreshed each time a card is selected. So, if you choose the red train car in the photo above, that spot is replenished before the player chooses his or her second card. If the player chooses a rainbow locomotive, he/she cannot choose a second card. Why, might you ask? The rainbow locomotive cards are wilds! They are much more powerful and versatile than the solid color train car cards, so if you choose one face up, that's all she wrote, folks! However, if the player decides to choose two random car cards, you get two regardless if you draw a rainbow locomotive or not.

Claim that route!
To lay down a track and claim the route, the player must have the same number and color of car cards as the route requires. During each turn, the player can only claim one route. For example, if you wanted to place down a track from El Paso and Houston (as seen above), you would have to discard six green car cards--replacing the green car cards with rainbow locomotives is fine. If the route is grey on the board, then you can use any set of color car cards, as long as they are one color. You cannot use a hodge-podge, mix-matched set of car cards to complete a route, ever. Make sure you keep your discarded car cards separate from the draw pile. Once you discard the train car cards used, players show ownership of the route by placing the little plastic train cars on the route spaces!

Ticket Cards

The last option for a player's action is to draw additional ticket cards. Square Wonton has seen many players come in first and last based on drawing additional ticket cards. The player must draw three cards, but can choose to keep one, two, or all three of the cards (you must keep at least one new ticket card!). The un-chosen ticket cards are discarded, and the new ticket cards remain hidden with the player's original ticket cards. Keep the ticket cards discard pile separate from the train car cards!

The game ends when a player is down to zero, one, or two train cars left. Then everyone gets one final turn (including the player that triggered the end of the game).

Special Notes and Scoring
One player cannot claim both routes on any of the double-routed cities. If the game is a 2 or 3 player game, then only one route of the double-routed cities can even be claimed! It doesn't matter which of the two routes is claimed, but again, only one route of the double-routed cities can be claimed in a 2 or 3 player game! That rule is easily forgotten. :3

Players do not need to claim consecutive, or linking routes--as clearly seen in the above photo.

Scoring as the game designers designated is a real pain in the ass. They give you little wooden pieces colored the same as your train cars to place around the board's edge on the numbers. This system is complete and utter garbage with tons of room for human error. The rules even suggest recounting each player's score to ensure mistakes weren't made. After trial and error, and thinking about solutions, Square Wonton has a score sheet that is much easier to use than the rubbish the game provides (opens in Google Docs so you can download, save to your docs, and/or print at your leisure). Alternatively, if you have an Android, you can download this free nifty score keeping app.

With this sheet, just tally every time you claim a route under the appropriate number of cars. Multiply the tallied number by the points scored and add for the total claimed route score. Then add the achieved ticket cards using the number in the bottom right-hand corner, and subtract the failed ticket cards. Add everything up, and voila! There's your score!

As an added bonus, the player with the longest continuous path, which is not clearly defined, receives the special longest path bonus card adding ten points to his/her final score. Square Wonton thinks this is determined by the longest continuous path counting each train car piece, not each route.

Basic Summary of Play

  1. Set up the board, choose your train car color, and deal out four train car cards and three ticket cards to each player.
  2. Each player may discard one of his or her starting ticket cards.
  3. Decide turn order.
  4. During each player's turn choose one of the following actions: draw train car cards (up to two - refresh visible cards with each selection), claim a route, or draw additional ticket cards.
  5. Repeat until a player has zero, one, or two train cars left. Everyone gets one final turn - including the player that initiated the ending game condition.
  6. Add up scores, give bonus longest path card, and see who won!
Ticket to Ride is a really fun game with a lot of room for replay-ability. Some aspects could have been improved upon by the game designers, but you are lucky to follow Square Wonton's blog. ;D Once you understand the basic turn order, Ticket to Ride is an extremely fun, fast-paced game. Square Wonton definitely recommends you check it out! Game on!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ingenious Genius

Brawn: Realistically, the most similar game I can think of is dominoes. Ingenious is much more structured than dominoes because of the board, but I do feel it has more strategy to be learned over a period of a few games.
Appeal: The game is nicely designed, but I would never have guessed it was released in 2004. It looks a little less modern than that to me (not that release date is determined by modernity).
Damage: Ingenious is not super expensive, but it runs from about $30 - $40 (not to be confused with the two person travel edition).
Amusement: This game is highly entertaining. It’s a fun game to play with my friends and/or family (especially on vacation with parents).

Skill: The game itself is not complicated. However, developing strategy and remembering all the end-game rules takes a game or two.

Square Wonton's Approval: Although my other ratings may not seem to indicate that a five is my overall approval, Ingenious is a truly enjoyable game.

Ingenious is a competitive tile placing game. Your end score is determined by your lowest score, so it takes some paying attention to get as many points as possible in each color. Users can choose the level of competitiveness he/she would like to apply to each game (like so many games out there).

Square Wonton recommends 3-4 players, although other game review sites I have perused suggest two people. Admittedly, I am a little biased because I prefer to play games with several people; as an only child I usually could only play two player games when I could wrangle one of my parents to play with me. I don’t feel that the game play is differentiated much by adding additional players (up to four). Some games play optimally with, for example, three people, although it can play up to six.

How to Play
Tile Rack
The amount of the game board that is used depends on the number of players. All of the spaces are used for a four player game. Everything but the outermost ring is used for a three player game. Only the lightest center spaces are used for a two player game.

Each player receives a tile rack, similar to Scrabble. Then each player randomly selects six tiles (total of 120 tiles in the game) from the Black Bag of Randomization. All players should also have a scoring card that should be placed between the tile rack and the game board so all players can see each others’ score. Scores are not meant to be secret.

There are six colors on the score card that correspond to the six colors and shapes on the tiles and the game board. Each player has small wooden blocks starting on the zero of the same color. As you score points, the marker (wooden block) moves up the card by the number of points you scored. As mentioned, your overall score is determined by your lowest score (whichever cube has moved up in points the least). In any normal game, an average final score is between six to fifteen, depending on how many players are in the game and how many long streaks of one color you leave for yourself/game-mates.

To start play, roll a die or choose your favorite turn order determining method to see who goes first. During the first round, every player must place a tile connecting one of the printed colored shapes to a corresponding color/shaped tile.

Count the Joints!
Counting points is easy once you get the hang of it; however, thinking in hexagonal dimensions is a tiny bit tricky at first. Starting with one of the two colors of the tile, you count one point for every connecting tile of the same color, in all directions. So if you place your tile with two different colors/shapes next to groups of tiles of similar colors/shapes for both tiles, you receive points for both sides of the tile. Square Wonton finds it easier to count one color, record points, and then count the other color and record points. If you place a tile with the same color/shape on both sides, you do count points for both sides of the tile. You do not count points between the color/shapes on the same tile.

Blocking Off a Single Space - A big no no.
When placing tiles, you cannot place one in such a way that you intentionally block off a single space. You keep playing until you run out of space on the board to continue. Every time you place a tile, you always refresh your tiles (draw back up to six tiles on your tile rack).

There is only one situation where you can mulligan and redraw your tiles. At the end of your turn, if your remaining tiles do not contain the color(s) of your lowest score, you can redraw your six tiles. Do this before you refresh your tiles. Technically the rules state that you must place your current, unusable tiles back in the bag before you redraw. Square Wonton thinks that is a silly rule, and you should redraw ensuring you will not draw almost the exact same set you had previously. Let’s be honest, it defeats the purpose to draw possibly the exact same tiles +1.

Current Score: 4
The last aspect of Ingenious you need to know is what happens if you reach a score of eighteen in any color. When you accomplish this goal (which in an average game can happen for two to three colors), you must shout (or say if you prefer) “Ingenious!” In doing so, you receive an additional turn. The turn happens before you refresh your tiles. That means if you get Ingenious once in a turn, you have to draw two tiles at the end of your turn to refresh back to six tiles total. If you get Ingenious twice in a turn, you draw three tiles at the end to refresh back to six tiles. Got it?

If you are playing more competitively, you can intentionally end streaks or groups of colors. Regardless of whether you play cooperatively or competitively, your score ranges will be similar (Square Wonton believes this to be the case in any game that can be played cooperatively or competitively).

Basic Summary of Play
  1. Set up the board, tile racks, score cards and draw six tiles each. Make sure everyone can see your score card, and no one can see your tiles!
  2. Decide who goes first. Everyone must place his/her first tile on a different starting color/shape.
  3. On the second turn, you can play on any connecting tile space.
  4. Do not intentionally close off one tile space.
  5. Play until there is no space on the board.
  6. The player with the highest score (based on the block on his/her scorecard that is the lowest number; in the photo above, this player's score is four because of the blue color level).
Ingenious is a relatively simple game, but it can be extremely fun to play. The learning curve is not huge, but there is some strategy involved. Square Wonton definitely recommends you try Ingenious. It is a great game for a broad range of ages that takes between half an hour to an hour to play. Game on!