There are some games which just look great, and they attract you based on that aspect before playing them.
Splits is one of those games.
It has a modular board made out of wood. Yes, I said wood.
If you are anything like this boardgamer, you are immediately attracted to games with wooden components. They have an immediate traditionalist appeal.
So when a game has a wooden board, well good quality pressed wood particles at least, as well as wooden pieces, it's one to take a closer look at.
Splits is designed by Francesco Rotta, and he did a nice job of keeping the ruleset simple. When you open a box and see a single page of instructions you have to smile.
Some games, even abstract strategy games can get pretty bogged down in rules. Even chess takes some paper to explain the movement of the various pieces etc.
So the board is modular, with eight pieces, each made up of four hexagons. Players take turn laying out the tiles to create the board. That alone means some variation from game-to-game and that's a plus for Splits.
Players also have 16 pawns (wooden checkers) in their colour.
You place all the pieces as a single tower, then on a turn must cut a tower to create a smaller one. So you leave some behind on the hexagon you occupied to start the turn. The rest go in a straight line until they meet the board edge, or another occupied hexagon, stopping just before that space.
When you cannot move to create a new stack you lose.
Yes it is a simple game, and that too is a plus.
The board has only 32 hexes, so that is a bit limiting. Good players might end games quickly if experienced. I would love to see the company offer additional board pieces as an option, which could add depth to the game.
But as it is, Splits works as a quick, well-made and easily transported game.
Check the game out at www.jactalea.com
If anyone is interested in this game, or other boardgames feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper June 13, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada