Games ordered by BGG Rating (where available)
GameRatingVotesSDmrraow Ratingmrraow Comment
Yugo9.0010.00N/A
Linear Pursuit8.5080.508.00Attractive chesslike game with simple components. The topology is surprisingly complex for such a small board, so it takes a few games to get your head around the movement to the point where you're not making silly mistakes..
Slither8.00841.458.00Interesting connection game. It shares some of the features of hex, e.g. ladders, while being somehow more dynamic. Need to play more to see what is/isn't connected, and how to block/make connections.
Wunchunk8.0010.008.00OK, serious brain-burner warning. You can play your opponent's pieces. You get turns equal to the number of groups you own; however, you want as few groups as possible by the end of the game. Key to the game is the balance point between creating your own groups for extra moves, and playing your opponent's pieces to ensure they lose.
Entrapment7.991001.308.00Lives up to its name; a cunning battle of entrapment and evasion with a lot of depth.
SUM ON7.7891.137.00Clever, combo-driven play; chain from your smaller pieces up to your larger pieces, and try to get as many bonus moves as possible. I find this game both clever and frustrating; visualising the board even a few moves ahead is beyond my ability. Playable in Ai Ai. No liner notes - I implemented this game long ago, before it was nominated for the 2017 Combinatorial awards.
Hermetica7.77981.648.00Beautiful plumage, intriguing game.
Hypergrid7.761061.827.00Lots of combos, and each time I play, I feel there's a better move just out of reach. The game may be just a little too long, though.
Four7.75281.2810.00My game :) The four colour theorem is one of those iconic maths problems; it's easy to state ("any 2d map can be coloured with at most four colours, so that no two adjacent countries are the same colour"), and a nightmare to prove. In fact, last time I looked, the proof had so many special cases that a computer was required to check it. It also sounds like a game already - "here's a sheet of paper, colour it in..."; and, I confess, I have been playing around with it since the 1980's. Aside: for those who like the sound of a four-colour colouring puzzle, look here: http://www.nikoli.com/en/take_a_break/four_color_problem/ ANYhow, the simplest game using the mechanism I can imagine is "Players alternate turns placing pieces, so no two pieces of the same colour touch. Last person to play wins." Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems here. The first is that early moves are likely to be unimportant; that is, players can't make meaningful decisions at the start of the game. The second is that late decisions are too constrained by early moves, i.e. the end of the game is a series of forced moves. Combine the two, and players can go from "I don't know what I'm doing" to "I've lost" in a single move; which is frustrating, to say the least. I kicked the idea around with Cameron Browne for a while, and Chroma was born - here, we solved the problems with two things; first, the 3D board means that not all board spaces are accessible at the start of the game, which makes early moves less opaque; secondly, the colours are played in a fixed sequence, which allows players to look ahead and deliberately block the opponent. Chroma isn't perfect, though... while very beautiful, it's a little sad that games will often end when the board is only half full. Anyway, fast forwards a couple of years, and I changed computers; in the process, I transferred some old documents from my previous computers, and found a file from 1994 containing some tiles from a previous attempt at a 4-colour game which I had completely forgotten. The tiles were each made of several coloured hexagons stuck together, so bear very little resemblance to Four as it is today; but the idea of different shapes in each colour was the starting point. After that came the name, which in turn led to the idea of having exactly four shapes and four constraints. A lot of trial and error went into finding the four shapes that led to the most interesting game. ... and here it is. Not all the blocks will be played before someone can't move, so while getting rid of the larger pieces early can be an advantage, being flexible in terms of playable piece types and colours is more so. That means players can make intuitive moves at the start of the game when they have lots of freedom (get rid of/reserve space for your 3- and 4- pieces early), yet can profitably think hard in the end game.
Acnos (Standard rules)7.7541.927.00Huge branching factor and potential for crazy combos. Feels a little like Octi in play.
DuploLine7.7171.39N/A
Murus Gallicus (standard version)7.71581.218.00There is a lot more going on here than the simple rules suggest. Impressed :)
Symple(11x11, group penalty=4)7.7060.508.00Clever territory game; the branching factor is brutal, so don't expect a strong AI!
Tak7.6918471.4510.00I wasn't expecting much from an abstract based on a description in a book, but this is a surprisingly good connection game with a lot of depth. Even on a 3x3 board, the game wasn't obviously solved. Looking forwards to exploring this further.
Pent-Up7.66471.257.00Interesting geometric puzzle game; the number of available options, however, means that I'm always going to be playing tactically rather than strategically.
Tintas7.661431.438.00Love the bright colourful pieces, and the strategic nature of the game. The only thing that lets it down, is that occasionally I find myself able to read out the rest of the game and find that I have lost, without understanding what I could have done differently.
Go (7x7, 5.5 komi)7.63140461.91N/A
Dameo7.63431.508.00Fast and brutal checkers variant. I like it :)
Linage7.6251.489.00This felt genuinely original, as well as being interesting to play; and so gets my vote for abstract game of the year (2016).
Knight Line7.62131.0810.00My game. Inspired by the "grail games" thread http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1017068/grail-games in the abstract forums here on BGG, this is my take on a minimalist n-in-a-row game. All that is required are two sets of stackable pieces; no board so, about as minimal as I can make it in terms of material while still being a good strategic game. This is actually my best tested game. I designed it just before a beach holiday with the family, and spent part of the holiday coding an AI, then used self-play to test the fairness of the game under various parameters. It turns out, according to the AI at least, that allowing the first player to move only a single pieces is the best balancing mechanism; a line of length 4 works best; and the actual starting number of pieces in the stacks isn't too important. Anywhere between 16 and 24 seems viable. I haven't tested beyond that point. The AI is now available - you can download it from http://mrraow.com/index.php/aiai-home/ (warning: java 8 required)
SQU7.6051.207.00Elegantly simple game, which can be lost in the first few moves but still takes a long time before it's clear who has won; quite challenging to get the AI playing well on this one!
Abrana7.6050.806.00Maybe a little too short to be strategic, but good as a fast filler.
Ayu7.59152.168.00Awesome unification game, where your own pieces work against you. I have yet to work out a good strategy, but have found many ways to fail :)
Bug7.55361.0610.00Bug is impressively opaque, even on very small boards. But in a good way; the 'perceptual binding' means that the player gets the feeling of understanding being just beyond the horizon, rather than forever beyond reach. Want to play more. Much more :) Playable in Ai Ai (on small boards). Nick kills me - his games are always a real nightmare to programme! In this case, I ended up implementing the game twice. The main problem was identifying when two neighbouring bugs are the same, allowing for reflection and rotation. For the HexHex3 implementation, I tried pre-generating every single board position for each shape, so I could do a straight lookup - that resulted in 2Mb of data after around 60 minutes of processing. Clearly not scalable! For the HexHex4 case, I represented the board as a bitboard (long integer, with each bit representing a different board cell), and did low-level bit manipulation to rotate and compare shapes. The result is fast enough to beat most humans, but unfortunately doesn't scale to larger boards for different reasons*; I may do so at some point using the Java BitSet class (extended to allow shifts) for the bit array, but not for a while. *Ai Ai represents hexhex boards internally as a standard hex grid with the corners missing. That means HexHex5 (61 cells) actually requires 81 bits internally, which is more than a 64-bit integer will hold.
Fischer Random Chess7.551041.676.00OK, so it's chess. The different starting order changes the openings, but once you get beyond that? It's just chess.
Santorini (Man vs Man)7.55232001.3110.00One of my favourite games - great to see a commercial version at last.
Yonmoque7.53131.177.00Short, very dangerous 4-in-a-row game; your first mistake is likely to be your last!
Yavalax7.50121.127.00Excellent take on Yavalath's something-but-not-something else mechanism. Feels a little like rubbing your tummy while patting your head :)
Side Stitch7.5041.127.00Good connection game, most hex strategies still apply.
Exo-Hex7.5020.507.00Good connection game; but it does seem like most hex strategies can be applied so to me ExoHex feels a more like a hex variant than a game in its own right.
Rukuni7.5081.507.00part of the tribe of Amazons descendants, adds scoring in an intuitive game. Feels like every move matters. Possible criticisms when playing over the board - lots of maths to track the score, and I wonder if the whole board will be utilised with experiences players, or if they will just wall the neutral pieces in along the edges.
Sygo7.5020.508.00An extremely interesting riff on Go. The flip-captures mean there's no need for a ko rule, and the growth rules lead to a shorter game than go on a similar sized board. Interesting trade-offs between growing and seeding; as you'd expect from the Symple mechanism. I think I prefer this to Symple; Sygo feels sharper, in the sense that each stone placement is more critical. In Symple, where you grow seems much less important than the simple fact that you are growing; but that may just be my flawed understanding of the game.
Tank Chess7.48982.167.00Good themed chesslike game or possibly a very simple wargame; lots of freedom of movement in the pieces, so it's hard to plan ahead.
Ecalper7.48100.847.00Interesting connection/group game with an unusual iterated pie rule mechanism.
SEVEN7.45321.118.00I played this with Nestor a few tiles; a 3D game with very simple mechanics and meaningful decisions.
Counterplays7.45100.857.00Interesting stacking game, but my brain is having trouble connecting the obvious importance of the early plays with the final result, so I've usually lost before I'm at the point where I can make meaningful moves. Hopefully that will change with repeated play. Playable in Ai Ai. As a rule, Ai Ai doesn't handle 3d games very well from an interface viewpoint; however, I realised this is an exception to the rule, because all information necessary to play can be seen from a top-down viewpoint. The need to show all possible orientations of a piece to allow for easy play means I spent a lot more time on the GUI in this one than I did on the game itself! AI strength is poor, because the number of available moves is huge at the start of the game. Fortunately,m humans don't play this too well, either!
LOT7.43471.208.00Fast, brutal, best 3-in-a-row game I know.
Crosshairs7.40251.1610.00Disclaimer: I designed this game. I like it, I hope you will too. Fast and fun, and deadly. The theme feels strong, no two games play out the same, and the whole game ramps up to a series of fast and bloody encounters in the centre of the board. Now published in a beautiful 3D edition by Nestorgames.
Naja7.40101.346.00Beautiful plumage, but I find the endgame goes from opaque to solved - I've lost - that probably says more about me than the game, though.
Fuse7.4050.807.00Clever short filler game; I have yet to get my head around making constructive moves, though. Most of the time my pieces just end up sulking in the corners!
Manalath7.38201.847.00This is certainly a game where your own pieces can be a liability; nonetheless, there are patterns to be learned, and once you have the patterns there is clarity.
DuploHex7.35132.307.00There are some interesting subtleties in here that make it feel like more than just a hex variant.
Thrive (Eigenstate)7.34251.149.00This is a fast brutal cage fight where your first mistake is likely to be your last. No obvious first player advantage, and easier to visualise the movement than I was expecting, looking forward to playing again. (Rating based on 4 face-to-face games with the prototype, plus games against Ai Ai.)
Morelli7.34661.665.00This seems to be a game about moving as slowly as possible towards the middle. Brrr!
Mapmaker (2p)7.321381.24N/A
Fugo7.3051.477.00OK, this is a weird game. It looks like go, plays like go, ... except when it doesn't. Captured groups aren't captured at once; instead, they evaporate slowly over time. This can lead to some odd situations, with a feeling similar to ko fights. Playable in Ai Ai. I don't have much to say about the implementation - I already had the board and piece graphics, plus a functional go implementation; so managed to rattle it off in a few hours.
Cairo Corridor7.29451.247.00I love the simple rules and topology, and there is great clarity compared with some of the odd-topology games I have played recently; however, I have yet to find a way to play strategically - the games I have played have come down to 1 point either way, and the outcome seems determined by decisions in the early game, whose consequences are beyond prediction at the time.
NECNON(HexHex size 4)7.2891.316.00NEC on Hex board; possibly an 8, I can see patterns and strategy emerging from control of the corners. NEC on square boards: unconvincing, drawish, around a 5. NON on a hex board, the first half of the game doesn't seem to matter very much, some tactics emerging in the later game. Around a 6. NON on a square board? Couldn't find any merit. 4. Overall, 6.
Yodd7.23152.146.00Interesting constraint, but not very exciting to play.
Havannah7.231781.528.00Feels like a cross between go and hex.
Vault7.22231.598.00Fast, brutal, but with scope for tactical and strategic play. Feels to me like chess stripped down to the bare minimum. Expect Shogi-style forcing endgames, if you can see them.
Trig7.2050.987.00The capturing patterns are a little confusing, but there's a good and original game in here.
Emergo7.18261.609.00A big game on a small board (referring especially to the 7x7 square board version here). Truly a brain burner, with forced sequences at every turn.
Lines of Action7.184061.579.00Classic connection game
Navia Dratp (Base Game)7.175561.7210.00The special powers don't overpower the strategic nature of the base game; very good, and rather cheap too at the moment. Have all greys for trade, some crystal, some painted, Navias 03-06. Will trade 3 grey for 1 painted. wants/trades here: http://trade.mahasamatman.com/Navia/list_show.pl?user=taveners Note to self: there are three ways to win. I must not let my opponent line over while I am busy taking all of his pieces. I must not let my opponent Navia Dratp while I am busy taking all of his pieces.
Multishot7.162821.5010.00Beautifully simple territorial game
Ringo7.14340.988.00Just when you think the design space is exhausted, along comes another 4 in a row on an expanding board! Works well.
Kang7.14221.578.00A new, lightly themed, edition of one of my favourite games. The new version has a couple of rules changes (pieces are entered one by one, rather than being placed on the back row en masse, you now require 3 goals to win, not just one). I like the new entering method, but am unconvinced by the goals (a) because I like the sharp puzzle-like nature of the original, and (b) because once the scaffolding is in place to jump across the board the next few goals are likely to be quite fast, so I'm not sure they add much to the game. (Game implemented in Ai Ai).
Quantum Leap7.13151.367.00Kind of anti-LOA. Interesting.
Tixel7.13191.726.00For some reason, I find the strategy of this game; and forerunner Tix; eludes me. I probably need to be beaten by an expert a few times before I get it!
Veletas7.12211.958.00Clearly inspired by Amazons, but with a distinct feel. Individual moves don't seem critical, in the sense that there is usually more than one move that will meet your strategic objectives; yet at the same time, you can set strategic objectives, and aim to carry them out. There seems to be some crossover with go in terms of influence; probably as a result of the definition of a group, and sacrificing a piece for influence seems viable. Looking forward to playing again.
Yavalath7.122111.4210.00Simple rules, surprising depth.
Chess7.11264231.84N/A
Glaisher7.07181.377.00Very difficult to play well - I have yet to beat the AI. Even with a simple and obvious goal, it's very hard to get your pieces to go where you want them to.
Circle of Life7.07701.549.00The most original game I have played in the past year; though I'm not sure I'd like to play without computer moderation, because the chance of making an error is quite high. I like the emergent feeling of predation and struggle for territory.
Yavalanchor7.05111.557.00Nice twist on Yavalath, but I prefer the original.
Stac7.05491.993.00Trying to make towers gets punished by the opponent stealing your tower, so why bother? And with competent play, the game never ends.
Pinch7.0010.007.00the cascading flip-captures reduce the clarity in this connections game, and it seems that once you are on the back foot, it is very hard to regain the initiative. The capture variant seems better in terms of clarity. Aside: Ai Ai has a lot of trouble with this one!
Iris7.0010.007.00Interesting - and visually appealing - game with a fine balance between claiming outer cells and connecting them. There is an inspired rule that prevents playing two adjacent central stones, which makes bridges still valid most of the time, despite the 12* protocol; allowing your hex intuition to still function. there are, however, cases where you can attack two bridges in a way that only allows the opponent to defend one of them.
Poka Yoke7.0010.007.00Like all the Tix family games, I have a lot of trouble visualising the available moves. The promotion-on-removal innovation here is a nice touch, though.
Storisende7.0030.828.00An elegant simulation; a tribal warfare/territorial game with abstract mechanics.
Blooms 2.06.99931.6210.00I have heard playing go compared to playing four games of chess simultaneously on the same board; playing Blooms is undoubtedly like playing two games of go simultaneously... on a very small board. An interesting game with a lot of depth - and a real pig to programme!
Line or Colour6.98251.708.003-dimensional N-in-a-row game, with the third dimension being colour! The 7x7 game is most interesting, and very tense; every move is critical! Both players have to keep an eye on defence from the beginning, and you really have to make sure you don't fall more than one behind on any colour.
Web of Flies6.96141.5610.00Disclaimer; I'm the inventor. Mini design story... The first iteration of this game was a card game called Box of Spiders, which I designed for a card game competition. (BoF was, itself, inspired by a magazine article on commercial uses of spider silk, which pointed out that if you start with a box of spiders, it isn't long before you end up with a box containing one big, mean looking spider. But I digress.) The game was fun, with a feel similar to DVONN, but the endgame was somewhat lacking. After the competition, I played the game a few more times, and realised that it would work better on a hexagonal grid, something that has since become an axiom - if it works on a square grid, try it on a hex grid; it will probably be better :) ... and it was. Anyhow, I'm really, REALLY pleased with Web of Flies. The asymmetry (move over friendly pieces, not over enemy pieces) gives lots of scope for revealed threats, sacrifices, and the like. Look at the end of the rules here on BGG for some puzzles, which will show you some of the potential of the game. AI now available - send me a geekmail with your email address if you want a copy (java 8 required)
Brandubh6.94321.765.00This tafl variant is too small (and Alea Evangeli is too large). I feel like Goldilocks!
Connect66.941021.768.00Could this be the perfect n-in-a-row game? On first glimpse, it seems to reward aggression; while every move serves more than one purpose.
Majorities6.93181.215.00Clever, but I find this totally opaque!
Frozen Forest6.9371.527.00Nice themed abstract, but hard to visualise without several plays under your belt.
Xodd6.91132.306.00Interesting constraint, but not very exciting to play.
Adaptoid6.911301.478.00There is a wonderful balance here between the power of the pieces and their vulnerability. Thematically, it works very well also. Rating may go up with further play. My one reservation at present is whether the first player has a significant tempo advantage.
Chain Lightning6.9051.027.00Interesting asymmetric connection game. I wonder what high level games would look like?
Gonnect6.89361.897.00Interesting game, which keeps the spirit of go while having a connection goal. I have a preference for go, since my gonnect games have been longer and colder than go would be on a similar sized board.
Exxit6.861261.758.00An infuriating, mess-with your head little game. If your moves don't do the opposite of what you expect them to, you're doing well! Expect agonising decisions followed by sequences of forced moves, so it should appeal to the same folks who like ZERTZ and TRAX. However the rule set isn't quite as elegant as either of the above.
Grand Chess6.85221.556.00Not greatly to my taste; I prefer chess variants that dramatically change the rules and strategies.
Tix6.84241.647.00A real brain-burner!
Boom and Zoom6.83261.588.00Most impressive - 4 pieces a side, but so many options each move. Like Lines of Action, it's not at always clear that capturing the enemy pieces is an advantage, this game is all about tempo.
Squava6.82191.496.00Yavalath - cage fight edition!
Fano330-R-Morris6.82251.936.00Simple, and treacherous; so many ways to die, and so few ways to live.
Cross6.81211.407.00Like, but would choose Hex in preference.
Entropy (Hyle)6.811761.449.00Very good, very elegant. First few times we played it, we had order and chaos swapped; it still plays well!
Chase6.803011.468.00Very clever strategy game. One of these days I'll get my Zillions implementation working!
Distrify6.8051.176.00Interesting balancing act between playing one strong move or two weak ones.
PlusMinus6.8050.987.00If you like games with unforseen side effects, this may be your game! I can see my rating increasing over time, but the interactions between the pieces are quite confusing, and I probably couldn't play a game of this over the board without making a mistake at present.
Gyges6.793191.6510.00Superb abstract with shared pieces. I wrote a review for Games, Games, Games magazine many moons ago; you'll find the text of the review here: http://mrraow.com/uploads/Articles/reviews/gyges.html
276.78501.077.00An interesting cage-fight, with pleasingly minimal components. Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about this. There are cold phases, where you must peel pieces off your stacks one at a time, and places where you can dash for the finish line. It bears some of the faults I associate with nim-family games, in that a position can go from opaque to solved over the course of a single move; but further play may allow for more complex strategy. Playable in Ai Ai. Liner notes; the most interesting thing here was the board/piece representation. Usually, I pre-generate all of the piece graphics at the start of the game, but in theory here you could have a single piece of height 27, and a vast number of orderings of the coloured pieces in that stack! For that reason, I had to rewrite my display code to allow piece graphics to be created generically, something I have subsequently re-used elsewhere. Note to self, I should go back and use this for Tak as well!
Libraria6.77691.267.00Simple strategy game, I can see this being a hit with with family. Must be some depth to the strategy, because Ai Ai beats me every single game!
Carteso6.7543.497.00Interesting, but I found myself frustrated with this game. I _really_ wanted to own a colour.
Jotunheim6.7562.738.00Santorini has a sibling, Plays well, and plenty of variety through the god powers, but perhaps a little more opaque in terms of strategy.
Mycelium6.7520.257.00Interesting territorial game, with a Blokus feel in that competing groups can intertwine.
Regatta6.7543.497.00I would enjoy this more, but I have a great deal of trouble visualising the moves :(
Squer6.7520.756.00The board changes too rapidly for me to plan ahead :( but I enjoy watching Ai Ai play!
Susan6.72191.47N/A
Fidchell6.70151.825.00This tafl variant is too small (and Alea Evangeli is too large). I feel like Goldilocks!
Genius Loci6.6981.8910.00My game :) This is a combinatorial game where player pieces are only able to move if doing so allows a sacrifice to one of the spirits (neutral pieces). Multiple combos abound, if you have the wits to find them! Design Notes (also in rulebook): This game is inspired by the "Activator Piece" discussions in the BGG abstract games forums. This is the purest game I could devise – the men do not move at all, unless an activator allows them to do so; the theme of spirits demanding sacrifices came naturally from the mechanics. Activator games seem to be inherently lacking in clarity. I actually started with around 10 powers, but quickly discarded half of them as being too confusing. Even then, the first incarnations of the clockwise/anticlockwise spirits acted at any distance; and had to be severely restricted to improve game play. Note you can now play against the AI.
Actual Size May Vary6.6730.476.00Interesting puzzle-like game, with a generalised Sudoku feel to it.
GoRoGo6.65101.387.00The neutral stones really do change the nature of the game, making it feel very different from go, and interesting on a small board; nonetheless, I suspect it has limited replay value.
Starweb (size 10)6.6241.479.00A simple, original intuitive connection game. Don't be put off by the maths-y victory conditions. You just need to aim for as few groups as possible, connecting to as many corners as possible. Playable in Ai Ai. The main challenge here is that the designer prefers large boards, which is troublesome for the AI in two ways. More board spaces make for a larger branching factor at each move AND longer games. To some extent, I compensate for this with a transposition table (i.e. recognising that you can reach the same position through different move sequences), but I also had to make the random playouts smarter (recognising and enforcing solid connections). That plus a little magic in the opening leads to a passable AI, but you might want to choose a smaller board size if you want a strong game. One other finding; the games are really over when the last connection has been made, which is significantly before the board is full. To short-circuit a boring endgame, I added code to the GUI to end the game early in a won/lost situation. (Why the GUI? Well, whether a game CAN be ended early or not is a feature of the game; whether a game should be ended early is down to player preference to some extent. The AIs provide the information, the game and the player settings guide the decision.)
Odd6.62131.397.00Simple, interesting game with interesting decisions to be made even early on. It also has the dubious merit of being the only one of Nick's games that was easy to implement in Ai AI!
Hneftafl (King's Table)6.5411011.48N/A
Big*Bang6.53151.496.00An interesting, if opaque game. I found the colours a little confusing - remembering which particles annihilate which - even with the visual clues on the board. It also felt like of the three goals, one was easy to play for, and the others seemed like random things you picked up by chance at the end of the game.. though that may improve with further practice,
MBrane6.5042.297.00The best adaptation of Sudoku to a multiplayer game.
Consta6.5031.87N/A
inpHeXion6.48201.705.00Maybe I'm missing something, but this didn't quite work for me. Because new pieces are introduced by displacing an existing piece, it is very difficult to isolate and displace an opponent's piece; it is also very difficult to disrupt a connection convincingly, since the connecting piece must end adjacent, and connections are easily remade.
Aboyne6.48131.578.00There are some very interesting strategic and tactical possibilities in this game. Well worth a try. Ai Ai implementation coming very soon.
Delta6.46251.236.00Simple, clever, alignment game.
Breakthrough6.44701.669.00My preferred playing field is 7x7; I find the 8x8 board is a little too slow to get to the action by comparison. (Now implemented in Ai Ai and getting the AI to play well was a real pig!)
Gess6.39141.757.00Better played on the computer than in person, due to the fiddliness of the pieces. An interesting fusion of two great games, which is nothing like either of them in actual play. The branching factor is HUGE. Pity the poor AI.
Cheaoss (4 colours)6.3333.8610.00Cheaoss (Chaos|Chess) is a chesslike game, where colour combinations determine the powers of the pieces, and each game will vary tremendously. Think: Cosmic Encounters meets chess. Note: I suspect Cheaoss is not technically a chess variant, because there can be more than one royal piece. Anyone who likes Knightmare Chess should enjoy this also.
Tablut6.301501.426.00Traditional game with lots of different variants. Interesting, in that it's asymmetric, uninteresting, in that it's solvable.
Cation6.2053.196.00Finding new ways to break crosscuts on a square grid is all very well, but this feels akin to putting a sticking plaster on a missing limb.
Tortuga6.192881.278.00A solid drafts variant with beautiful plumage. It's fast; small board, so you get straight into the action, some interesting possibilities for sacrificing pieces and sequences of forced moves. Unlike other drafts variants, pieces are never removed, which can cause local obstructions. Haven't yet seen a siuation where I wanted to create a piece fo the opponent, sadly, but I can see how that might arise.
Clobber6.16201.875.00Elegantly simple, but another game that goes from opaque to solved in the blink of an eye. A game for studying mathematically, not playing :)
Konane6.14541.30N/A
Stop-Gate6.05141.845.00The version with horizontal vs vertical is much more enjoyable than the version where the pieces can be played in any orientation - that really does just come down to parity.
Hong6.05631.64N/A
Tyr Hnefatafl (13x13)6.00122.615.00I prefer the smaller Tafl games. This is too long for what it is.
Themiscrya6.0010.006.00Interesting variant of Amazons, but the increased freedom of placement means less strategy.
Skjuub6.0010.006.00Interesting game, and I'd love to own a physical copy just for the looks, but I find it very hard to get my head around the play.
Gomoku (standard)6.005301.72N/A
Xoliba5.96152.566.00I find the pattern recognition element counter-intuitive, and couldn't play this without Ai Ai to find the legal moves for me!
Rhode5.9482.796.00Finding new ways to break crosscuts on a square grid is all very well, but this feels akin to putting a sticking plaster on a missing limb.
Cats and Dogs AKA SNORT5.9262.178.00SNORT (8x8) is broken by a simple mirroring strategy. Chris Huntoon's version of the game (played on an odd sized board with a first move to the centre forbidden) is very good, though.
Martian Tic Tac Toe5.8052.646.00Gets a lot of use out of a very limited board and piece set through recycling.
Yoté5.79391.635.00Interesting traditional game, but seems to be all tactics.
Atomic Chess5.7971.25N/A
Unfair5.7543.0310.00My game, so take this rating with a pinch of salt, but I'm proud of this one :) This is a totally unfair game - player 1 and player 2 get to place different numbers of pieces each turn, and have different goals :D
Shrine5.7542.866.00Very hard to read ahead in this game mostly due to the unusual topology; but I can see that if I played enough, there is quite a lot of strategy here. Note: although the board looks like it has 5-fold connectedness, it's actually implemented with 7 connections per cell in Ai Ai.
LeapFrog (original)5.7541.097.00Supercheckers type game from the 19th century. AI play available.
Capablanca Chess5.64141.346.00Not greatly to my taste; I prefer chess variants that dramatically change the rules and strategies.
Twelve Men's Morris5.3811911.60N/A
Kensington5.354261.53N/A
The Dance5.2542.055.00Sorry, wanted to like this, but it seems to be a draw with competent play.
DHex(dimension 14)5.0024.00N/A
Draughts4.8766451.51N/A
Connect 44.8662591.54N/A
Blue Nile4.7971.463.00Some games are too elegant. Moves are VERY constrained; coupled with the terrible clarity, this has the feeling that you make a few random moves then realise that you have won/lost with no room for informed decision making in the middle.
Dots and Boxes4.671921.538.00Still great to pass the time, if all you have is pen and paper. Plenty of depth. I really don't get the low ratings on BGG.
Intercardinal4.6731.256.00Part of an exploration of asymmetrical N-in-a-row games.
Noughts and Crosses2.6630211.96N/A
Gardner Chess (AISE version)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Knight LightN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
SpotN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Intercardinal (slow)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Xmas LightsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ArchwormN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
CornerbaseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Magnetic Go (7x7)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wizard's FootballN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
SnowpaqueN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Three CheckN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Escabel0.0000.00N/A
Sea Battle TaflN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
TrianglineN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
RobotsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
MutoN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ketchup 3.0N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Chess+N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Catchup (Ketchup 6.0)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
UnderdogN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
AccretionN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low vs HighN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Arrows2N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Tavener's Time Travel Tic Tac Toe (T^6)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rapid CoolingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Close Doesn't CountN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ChainsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ArrowsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ItsyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
GreenestN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
MerxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
PulseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Square vs SquareN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Isolation ChessN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
GreenerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
GreenN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A