Old adages are usually remembered because they hold a grain of truth.
Well once again the one about good things coming in small packages applies when looking at the board game Tix.
Designed by Martijn Althuizen in 2009, Tix is an abstract strategy game which fits nicely in a small box that is only about six-inches by four, so you can pop it in a pocket and take it to a bud's for a game pretty easily.
There are a couple of editions of Tix out there. Pancerola produced the first edition, one with blue and natural wood blocks as pieces, and a good quality quarter-fold board.
A higher quality one, with clear and frosted plastic blocks came from SPLLN as an exclusive edition. It is very sharp looking, although less portable since the board does not fold. It would look great on the table to get visitors asking about it though.
As for a game, it is played on a six-by-six grid board. The rules are really quite simple, although the resulting mechanic of activating and inactivating cubes, noted by rotating one 45 degrees so it sits askew on a board square is far deeper than I had initially anticipated.
Players face choices, adding one to the board, moving one already on a board by sliding it along the board, as a chess rook. If the move ends with the piece inactive you get a bonus move.
You can also collect a piece from the board and return to your off-board supply.
When you can't make a legal move you lose.
The game is a bit of a brain-burner, but the instructions are rather clear, and do include illustrations which help visualize things in game terms.
This is a game that will keep players thinking, so be warned, if you like luck-laden boardgames, this is not for you.
On the other hand if you want a game to work the brain cells then mark Tix high on your list, it's a great abstract strategy game which deserves a larger audience.
Check the game out at www.splln.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 April 25, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada