Stixx is a strategy game. It’s lovely to look at. Easy to understand. And yet, surprisingly subtle.
There are six different colors of Stixx (the game pieces). There are seven of each. To set up the game, players place the Stixx randomly (trying to keep the colors as far apart as possible) in the 42 grooves around the board. There’s an extra Stixx. It’s gray. It’s used as a marker, replacing the Stixx that has just been collected, and indicating which Stixx are now collectable (those that are adjacent to either point of the marker).
Before the game begins, each player draws from a collection of six “hidden color tokens.” This identifies the color of the Stixx the players are trying to collect. The object is to collect more of your Stixx than anybody has been able to collect of theirs.
There are many levels contemplation-worthy strategic complexities. Whenever you pick up a Stixx you determine which Stixx the next player can select from. If you’re ahead, and you can isolate the grey Stixx so it’s not touching any pieces, the game is over, and you win. If you try to collect too many Stixx of your color, your opponents will be able to guess what color you’re trying to collect, and either keep you from collecting more, or take those colored Stixx themselves, just for spite.
Having to keep your goal secret while trying keep others from achieving theirs is an aspect of the game that adds greatly to the depth and humor of it all. If it gets too much for you, you can guess someone’s color – forcing them to reveal it to everyone and, if you’re correct, winning you two extra moves. If the possibility of taking those two extra moves becomes strategically attractive to you, and no one has yet guessed your color, you can reveal your secret color.
Stixx is easy enough to understand, and has a short enough playing-time, to meet the attention span of your average, gifted seven-year-old. It’s also deep and intriguing enough to engage the serious-minded adult. And it often makes you laugh. Which is another way of saying Stixx is Major FUN.
Designed by Odet L’ Homer and published by Goliath Games, Stixx can be played by two to six players, and, as good as it is, it seems to be just as good (if not better) when more than two want to play. Stixx is nicely packaged, very easy to store. It has a lot of colorful, irreplaceable plastic parts – 49 of them. But rest easy, wise Stixx-owner, Goliath will replace your losses for free.