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Game Review


Ages 5 and up
Educational Insights
Game © 2003 Educational Insights
Date reviewed: 7/08/2003
game setup
Uncle's Games link

2-4 Players 30+ minutes


Players place different shaped pieces on the game board -- the goal is to have the fewest pieces remaining unplayed.


Players begin by choosing which color of pieces they wish to play. Play then proceeds in this order: Blue player, Yellow player, Red Player then Green Player.

On the first turn, each player must begin by placing a piece of their color in the corner square. On subsequent turns piece placement is subject to the following rules:

  • Pieces of the same color may only touch at the corners.

  • Each piece places must touch at least one other piece of the same color.

  • Once a piece is placed, it cannot be moved to another place.

If a player cannot place a piece, they must skip their turn. The game ends once all players have run out of places to place a piece.

After the game ends, players examine their pieces leftover. If a player places all of their pieces on the board -- that is, zero left over -- then they are awarded 15 points. Players with pieces left over count the number of unit squares that make up the pieces. For each square on the pieces they have left over, they subtract one point from their score.

game start

Winning Conditions:

  • The player who has the fewest square-count on their unplaced pieces wins.

game in play

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!This game is a great challenge while simultaneously being eye-candy. The play and rules are simple, balanced and enjoyable. It works for almost any age of child or adult (the exception being those children who prefer to eat the game pieces).

When the Zombies first opened this game, we compared it to Ido for looks and to Cathedral for its game play. We found that the former is true, and the latter is not. Blokus is similar to Cathedral in basic construction, but that's all: fitting odd shapes onto a board is the limit of that similarity. Blokus allows up to four players which really helps this game to be fun. It's placement rules make it markedly different and challenging -- especially when you factor in three other opponents blocking space that would be useful to you. Players run out of space to place pieces so quickly that the game is reminiscent of Tetris just before the game ends.

The lone drawback to Blokus is the scoring. Equally skilled players will rarely be able to place all of their pieces, so the scores are almost always negative. This isn't bad, but for smaller kids, negative numbers are not that easily explained. I guess this is what makes the game "educational," but we found it annoying. After two rounds of play, one of the zombies was heard cheering "Woo hoo! I'm only at negative 28 points! Even if I used all of my pieces next round, I'll still have a less than zero score."

Anyhow, we all really enjoyed playing this game. So much that we even recommend it at the $30 price tag.

Where to buy:

Any local toy store or educational game store. Check here for store locations. It costs about $30.

Uncle's Games link

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