Blokus Review
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Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 20 minutes

Blokus has the look and feel of a classic strategy board game, but it’s only been out for a couple of years. After playing it, though, I think you'll agree that it's timeless. It's an elegant and sometimes maddening game, somewhat reminiscent of Tetris.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that my friends and I spent the better part of a four-day weekend playing this game. My rating system for games goes like this: a bad board game is one that you try to get through once. A good board game is one you may play a few times. A great board game is one you'll play back-to-back and get upset when you have to break for lunch or dinner. And an unbelievable game is one you'll play non-stop—and when you do manage to reluctantly go to sleep, you'll wake up in the middle of the night with a move that could have won you the last nine games. This game is unbelievable.

The object of the game is to get rid of as many of your 21 pieces as you can. Just that simple. Each of the players starts with one color: blue, yellow, red, or green. The pieces are made up of one to five squares formed in geometric patterns, like Tetris pieces. The board is just made of squares, like Scrabble without all the bonus squares. The game design is quite nice, in fact, made with transparent plastic pieces—and it’s worthy of mention that the game box has a great design for storage of the pieces.

Players take turns placing a piece, and they keep placing until there are no spots left. If you’re really good, you'll place all of your pieces on the board, and you'll amaze your friends (I did this three times, and they thought I was amazing). If you're better than really good (I guess that would be really, really good), then you'll place all of your pieces, with the one-block piece being last (everyone did this a few times except me—so I guess I suck after all).

The real challenge in the game is the fact that you can't place any of your pieces so they’re touching side-by-side. They can only be diagonal from each other. This makes it hard. And addictive. You’ll find yourself thinking four moves ahead—and then some lame-brain will place a piece exactly where you were going to go next…

You should really sit down and play this game. Just make sure that you have a four-day weekend before you do, ‘cause you'll be hooked.

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