It was more than two years ago when a game called “Gobblet” became the first strategy game to get a Major FUN Award. Today, it’s Gobblet, Jr., a simpler version of Gobblet where the goal is to get three-, instead of four-in-a-row.
What makes the game so attractive is: 1) it’s based on tic-tac-toe – so, if you know tic-tac-toe, you’ll be able to understand how to play, pretty much immediately; and 2) it’s way more interesting than tic-tac-toe. Way. Each player gets two sets of nesting cylinders. Players take turns placing any of their cylinders down anywhere on the board. And yes, if you have a larger cylinder, you can even put it on top of your opponent’s cylinder. Which, you probably already see, has enough strategic implications to make playing the game utterly fascinating. OK. Maybe not as utterly as Gobblet, uh, Sr., where you have three sets of nesting cylinders and are playing on a 4×4 board on an even more woody box, but definitely utterly enough.
Though it’s called “Gobblet, Jr,” it’s not getting a “Kids” award, or even a “Family” award, but a full-fledged, adult-worthy, Thinking games award, just like its bigger brother.
See, at the last Tasting, I didn’t tell anyone about the other Gobblet. I showed them Gobblet, Jr., and I said, look, even though it looks like a kids’ game, play around with it as if it were a big person’s game, deserving of the best of your very adult selves. And they did. And it was. Even in its simpler, 3×3 version. A game to be taken most maturely. Even if kids like it, too.