Published by Mojabi Games.
Ages 10 and up
Kwaz is an abstract game of patterns and placement. The game is played out on a 6x6 grid with three colors of stones to be placed. Players are dealt a hand from a deck of 24 cards. Each card contains a 2x2 pattern of stones which serve as a target pattern to be created on the board. Players take turn choosing and placing stones. When a pattern is complete (or even before, if you're feeling gutsy or stuck), that card is put aside and a replacement is drawn from the deck. This continues until the grid is completely filled with stones.
So far so good. You have a game where you are trying to prevent your opponent from forming patterns while you try to form your own patterns. Its fairly easy to see who is plowing through the cards the fastest. But the scoring mechanism makes it less clear who is actually winning.
Once the board is full, the players score the cards that they managed to set aside. Each player is scored seperately by placing their set aside cards atop the patterns on the board that they match. Cards are then scored based on how many other cards they overlap. Three points are scored if a card overlaps another card by only one square, two points if they overlap by two squares, and one point if this card overlaps no other card. You also score a bonus for overlapping the last stone placed on the board. Each overlap is scored only once since you remove each card as it is scored and then recurse (particularly as it becomes clear that your opponent is hammering you!).
Multiple games are played until one player reaches some target cumulative score. Targets are supplied for various numbers of players.
The game components are good quality: the board is canvas, the stones are three colors of glass (though I had trouble with the black stones reflecting the red and confusing me), and the lot comes in a drawstring bag. Highly portable. Ideal beach or train trip game.
I've only played the two player game but Jos and I enjoyed it enough to play it three times at a run first time out. Good fun. It is fast paced, visualizing your overlaps is tricky and the strategies for blocking your opponent are deep enough to keep my mind from wandering while my opponent moves.
Solitaire puzzles and rules for a second, simpler game using the components are thrown in for good measure.
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Lakewood CO 80226
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell