Blokus is the most award-winning game of the 21st century. This abstract strategy game from France only has three rules, so it's very easy to play for everyone ages 5 and older - and, the fun increases if you add your own rules!
The game was designed by Bernard Tavitian, an engineer, mathematician, artist and game-lover, while he was trying to design a frame for a painting of an orchestra which was made up of geometric figures. The game combines the "Four Color Theorem" used by map makers since the 15th century with the idea of using multi-sided game pieces.
The game was first released in 2000 by Sekkoia, a French publisher. Over three million copies of the game have been sold worldwide. It has been compared to great classic board games such as Go, which has a 2,000 year history.
Blokus has received 26 awards since it was launched in 2000 including:
- Best Game - The Brain Sports Foundation - Japan - 2005
- Family Game of the Year - Sweden - 2004
- Toy of the Year - Independent Toy Specialist - Australia - 2004
- Best Strategy Games Finalist - Games Magazine USA - 2004
- Game of the Year - Australian Games Association - Australia 2003
- National Association of Parenting Publications Award - USA 2003
- Top 10 Children's Choice Award Winner - Toy Testing - Canada - 2003
- Good Toy Award - Japan - 2003
- Game of the Year - Vuoden Peli - Finland - 2003
- Dr. Toy Best Children's Products - USA - 2003
- Astra Good Toy Award - USA - 2003
- Boardgame Prize - Japan - 2003
- Mensa Best Mind Game Award - USA - 2003
- Parent's Choice Gold Award Winner - USA - 2003
- Platinum Award Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - USA - 2003
- Spieletta Award Game Market - Japan - 2003
- Toy Guide Jouets - Canada - 2002
- Spiel des Jahres Auswahlliste - Germany - 2002
- Super As d'Or - France - 2001
- Grand Prix du Jouet - France - 2000
- 1 game board with 400 squares, arranged in 20 rows and 20 columns
- 84 transparent game pieces (21 pieces in each of the four colors)
- 4 pieces of monominos (one square) (1 of each color)
- 4 pieces of dominos (two squares) (1 of each color)
- 8 pieces of triominos (three squares) (2 of each color)
- 20 pieces of tetraminos (four squares) (5 of each color)
- 48 pieces of pentaminos (five squares) (12 of each color)
- Instruction guide
Playing the Game
Blokus is very easy to play but it does require a lot of concentration. It is a great board game for young players and it makes an excellent gift since it appeals to all ages and it is so easy to learn to play.The purpose of the game is for each player to place as many of their pieces on the game board as possible. The average game takes about twenty minutes to play.
- Each player must begin their first turn at one of the corners of the board.
- The order of play starts with the blue player and continues to the yellow, then red and then the green player.
- Each piece that is placed on the board must touch the corner of another piece on the board of the same color. Pieces cannot touch along the sides.
Variations of Play
- Team - Four players divide into two teams of two players each. One team plays with the blue and red game pieces. The other team plays with the yellow and green game pieces. Each team adds up the points earned by its players.
- Draft - Three players take turns selecting the mix of colored pieces with which they will play. Each player then works with the other players to create formations of the four colors.
- Reverse - Each player tries to place as few pieces on the board as possible. The player with the least game pieces on the board is the winner.
- Solitaire - The player tries to get rid of all the pieces in a single setting.
- Obstacle - One, two or three players each choose one color. The unchosen color or colors are considered "obstacle" colors. Players take turns placing the obstacle colors. Once the obstacle colors have been exhausted, each player selects a starting corner and play then proceeds normally.
- Two players - Each player uses game pieces of two colors. This variation of the game provides the opportunity for more strategic thinking.
- Variant two player - Each player selects one half of the game board on which they place their game pieces.
- Three players - One of the players uses game pieces of two colors.
- Each square which is not placed on the game board is counted as a negative point.
- A 15-point bonus is awarded if all 21 pieces are placed on the game board by a player. This bonus is increased to 20 points if the last piece placed on the game board was a single square.
Winning the Game
The end of the game is when no more pieces can be placed on the game board. The winner is the player who has earned the most points at the end of the game.
- Blokus Duo/Travel Blokus - This 2-player version uses a compact 14 inch by 14 inch board. Playing colors are purple and orange. The players start in the middle of the board, so the game tends to be faster than the classic Blokus game.
- Blokus Trigon - This is a hexagonal board with triangular pieces. It is a little more complex than the classic Blokus game. It is an ideal game for three adults.
- Blokus Giant - This version has a larger game board and larger pieces.