Geominos

There’s something inherently satisfying when things fit together. And even more satisfying when they fit completely together. Especially if they fit on the right color squares.

There’s also something inherently pleasing about a game called “Geominos” that comes in a pizza-like box. A sturdy box, mind you. One that amply protects the heavily-laminated board, the 21 durably plastic tiles and the two, one-minute sand timers, and deck of 21 cards. Pleasing because one cannot help be amusingly reminded of a Geominos-sounding pizza store in one’s probable neighborhood.

The game. Simply put:

  • Place your Geominos™ game tiles next to tiles already on the board, matching pips (spots) to pips, as in dominos.
  • You’re assessed points for any pips that are on a light-colored square of the board.
  • The game ends when all tiles have been placed on the board.
  • The player with the fewest points wins the game.

Gamestaster Marc pithily pointed out that a game that could be completely explained with so few rules demonstrates what the Major Fun seal is all about: clarity, elegance, simplicity.

Geominos is game that engages strategic thinking, visual skills, speed, and just enough luck to keep you from hating yourself. Strategic thinking because each tile has a different shape, and each tile has two different sides with a different array of pips, and though you only have to match one section of your tile, there are still more than enough parameters to make you hate both of those nicely made one-minute sand timers.

Of course, it depends, somewhat, on which Geomino game you decide to play. Because you see, there are three different games (the one-tile, the five-tile, and the all-tiles), each of which demands a different enough strategy to make it, well, different. Still Geominos, still challenging, but each with a different balance of luck and strategy.

In order to start a game, players have to draw tiles, randomly. This is a bit difficult, since all the tiles are on the table. Even if they were in a bag, you’d still be able to more-or-less tell their shape – just in case you’re looking for something in particular. So, you use that special deck of cards I told you about – ensuring that the selection of tiles is truly random.

If you’re new to the game, you’ll need more time to ponder. So each game can be played in 1- to 3-minute rounds. In a 1-minute round, you just use one timer. In a 2, you use both. In 3, you restart the first one as soon as the second one is done. Simple, effective, and can be used to add a certain, shall we say, flare of implied pressure.

The 5-tile game is significantly challenging, but also the best game to start with – it gives you a chance to experience all the properties of the tiles and board and the various significances thereof. The 1-tile game has a stronger element of luck. The All-tile game can lead to psycho-aerobic brain-strain.

Recommended for 2-4 players of at least checker-playing age, Geominos takes about 15 minutes to learn and from 30-60 minutes to play. Geominos has been found by our independent gang of Game Tasters to be Major FUN.

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