Sometimes there is nothing like an old idea revisited.
That is generally what you get with Bx Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fire and Water (BxRPSFW).
Yes the name is a tad cumbersome and inelegant although it does explain exactly what the abstract strategy game is about.
In creating what appears to be designer Robert Carden's first game, he took the long familiar game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, modified it, and put it on a game board.
Each player starts out with 18 pieces on a board of hexagonal spaces. The pieces include three each of rock, paper and scissors, as well as two fire, and six water. There is also a flag piece which does not move.
As you have probably guessed the goal of the game is to capture the opponent's flag.
All pieces move the same, one space in any direction, which means six with the hex' board.
Capture is by straight replacement. You move to the spot of an opponent's piece, and it is removed from the board.
Where the strategy comes in with BxRPSFW is that only certain pieces can capture others.
Most are familiar with rock taking scissors, scissors taking paper and paper taking rock.
In this game fire captures rock, paper or scissors, and rock, paper and scissors all capture water.
And yes, fire which is quite powerful gets taken by water.
The game edition comes with simple wood pieces stamped with letters to differentiate the types. The board is laminated plastic. So the word here is 'functional' although the game lacks aesthetics.
However as a rather straight forward, easily understood abstract with no imposed luck BxRPSFW plays well.
It doesn't have much 'wow' factor, either in looks, or play, but it's a fun option for a game every once in a while.
Check it out at www.cardengames.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 6 , 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada