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Game Review

"The Art of Playing"

Ages 12 and up
Rio Grande Games
Game copyright 1998 Simba Toys
Ido at the start

2-4 Players30-60 minutes


Ido is a strategy game where the players attempt to move their pieces across the board to their goal space. The center playing field moves, so the players must plan around a changing landscape.


The board starts with the frame in the center. Each player is given all of the pieces of one color. On a player's turn, they have three options:

  • Enter one piece onto the board.

  • Move the frame.

  • Move their pieces on the board.

Piece movement is determined by the number of pieced a player has on the board. For instance, if a player has two pieces in play, they can move a total of two spaces on the board using any combination of the pieces. However, the size of the piece determines which squares it can enter: the large pieces may only enter large rectangle squares, and the small cubes may only enter the small spaces. It is easy to get a piece stranded when the frame is moved.

The frame may not be moved by two players in a row -- if the player before you moves the frame, you don't get to move it.

The game ends when one player successfully moves four of his/her pieces to the goal space.

Ido in play

Winning Conditions:

  • The first player who successfully moves four of his/her pieces to the target wins.

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Down! This game review was a difficult one -- Our game was entertaining, and some aspects of it were quite challenging, but the Zombie staff voted 2-to-1 against this game.

Ido is very pretty -- the rules seem simple at first glance. Until we were in the midst of playing, we thought the rules were decent -- Then we spent ten minutes looking for an answer to what seemed to be a basic question: can two pieces sit in the large rectangle spaces? We eventually found the rule hidden in the text of an illustration, and our game resumed. (The answer was "Yes," if you are curious.)

Our game was incredible balanced -- we had 3 players that were all within one turn of winning when the game completed. The frame movement rule where two players may not move the frame consecutively allowed the Baroness to win.

I think that this game lost itself in its simplicity -- our strategizing detracted from the "artistic" gimmick of Ido. The game is built to look pretty, and does -- but the Zombies who voted against recommending it did not feel that it was fun to play.

If you like modern art -- or Frank Lloyd Wright's works, check this game out -- if not, stick with games like "Sorry" or "Parchesi."

Where to buy:

Any local game store, or go to Rio Grande Games' web site.

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