Ingenious board game
by Amanda Nettgen
Board game manufacturer:
Fantasy Flight Games
Number of players:
Ingenious is a colored tile strategy game that will have you shouting its name. It has addictive potential when you first start playing.
The game and gameplay
When you go to set up the game, the hexagon-adorned game board and symboled tiles might look confusing, but after you read the rules you’ll realize Ingenious is a rather simple game to play.
The aim of the game is to advance each of your six rainbow squares as far as you can on your individual score board. You do this by laying tiles with shapes on them on the main board and counting how many connections your move made to surrounding tiles. A tile with a blue star and purple circle on it will score points if it touches any other blue stars and/or purple circles.
When you go to add up your score, you tally tiles from all angles, so it’s not just one connection you’re counting but several. You subsequently move your corresponding small square (blue or purple in this example) on your personal score board based on how many matches you made.
If you’re lucky enough to have one of your square markers reach eighteen on your score board, you get to shout “Ingenious!” and take another turn. If you’re very skilled and manage to advance all of your squares to Ingenious, you win hands-down (but that doesn’t happen often).It becomes crunch time in terms of whether you’ll win or not near the end of the Ingenious board game, when playing spaces are limited and people’s color opportunities are being closed off.
You need to play both offensively and defensively to be successful at Ingenious.
In the end, it is the player with the lowest-scoring square marker who loses. In just the same way, it is the person with the “highest” lowest-scoring square marker who wins.
Pros and cons
Ingenious board game was a Game of the Year finalist in 2004. It’s best for people who want a more serious game or are brainy.
I can see how it could be a good thinking game for kids, or people who want to flex their mental muscle in general. It’s fun to play it in teams, but I don’t recommend playing the Solitaire version the game suggests.
The concept of the game grows old over time. You might play it to death at first, but eventually it could transform into only an every-once-in-awhile play.
Ingenious board game is a good brain game to have in your closet that is easily adaptable to play with up to four people. You may find it gets boring after awhile, though.