TableTop Tuesday - Zendo

I was so excited when my copy of Zendo arrived in the mail. I tore into the box and saw the array of multi colored pyramids, rectangular prisms, and what can be best described as pie slices, there were beads and blocks, and of course two instruction manuals. This was going to be way more complicated than I imagined.

I had lunch with my board game people, and I was telling them about the game. Someone suggested I watch a youtube video about how to play. So before I went out for game night I watched a few Zendo tutorials and I got the basic gist of it, but when they started going into complexities (book 2 stuff) I was just lost. But like most games from Looney Labs it makes more sense when you actually play it. So that's what we did, and it totally made sense. And was awesomely fun, and that was the opinion of people who earlier that day were throwing axes.

One player is the moderator (or teacher) and he/she draws a card that has a secret instruction for making a structure. They build the simple structure and a second structure that does not follow the secret rules. They mark the correct structure with a white bead and a black bead for the decoy. The players (students) one by one build a structure.they can ask the teacher if their structure is correct or they can ask all the players to take a poll. Everyone votes on whether the structure follows the rule. And all those who vote correctly get a guessing cube. The structure gets marked either way, and if the player has a guessing cube they can guess what the secret is. If the guess is wrong the moderator builds another structure using the secret rule. This goes on until one of the players figures out the secret rule.

Some of them are tricky some are pretty simple but its really fun. And yes I know that description of the game sounds insane. But it's way better experience than read about. Trust me.

The original rules to the game were published in 2001 by Kory Heath , who also wrote the game Werewolf. Looney Labs released a boxed set in 2003, but those are out of print. This latest version, removes the religious terminology from the previous editions. But that doesn't affect game play in anyway.

Another thing that is great about this game is that there is virtually no setup. The “setup” is part of the game. It is really fun and I will be including it in our game night rotation for sure. This is definitely an early in the evening game, while everyone’s facilities are all there because you do need to concentrate and think logically.

This is easily one of the top two or three games I have played this year. It is available now, go get it. No seriously go get a copy.

The structure with the white bead is correct. The one with the black bead is incorrect. Leave a comment with your hypothesis of what the secret rule is. First one to figure it out will win a surprise prize. 

DISCLOSURE: Looney Labs gave me a copy of Zendo to facilitate this review, but all opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Gregory Braun said...

All three colors?