Hexover by Maranda Enterprises is a great entry into the field of 2-player abstract strategy games. Take a familiar and robust game mechanic (Othello-style capture by surrounding), add a little twist, and bundle it all up with well-crafted, attractive game pieces and PRESTO you have yourself an engaging strategy game. It’s a crowded field but Hexover stands out with interesting innovation and excellent aesthetic design.
Like Othello, Hexover uses double sided chits as game markers. Each player attempts to make a row of five of their color by placing one piece and then flipping over the opponent’s color. The novelty of this game derives from the board which is composed of hexagons (instead of a square grid) of two different colors. Winning lines must be made on the white tiles. The red tiles may be used to flip over opposing pieces but those pieces on the red tiles do not count toward a run of five.
Games are quick as players move to consolidate their position around the long white corridors that radiate out from the middle. Because the game mechanics are so familiar and engaging, players can move very quickly from the moment the box is opened to the time they slap their heads at how fast one move can change the entire game. And for those who are perhaps not familiar with the Othello rules for placing and capturing pieces, Hexover provides very clear and intuitive rules.
As with another Major Fun award-winning game from Maranda Enterprises, Pathagon, it is worth emphasizing the impressive material quality of the game. The board has real heft and the playing surface is covered with a soft, leathery material that prevents the pieces from sliding around. The double-sided playing pieces are similarly weighty with a stone-like feel. All in all, Hexover is a game you would feel good about leaving out on the living room table or in the study.
It looks good. It feels good. It plays good.
It’s major fun!!
2 players. Ages 10+
Hexover by Mark Fuchs. © 2011 Maranda Enterprises.