By Serge Pierro
Celtic Inspired Games and Puzzles
here seems to be a trend recently of Kickstarter games that feature all kinds of amazing miniatures, and yet the games themselves tend to be a bit flat. So it’s a refreshing change to see a game that is aesthetically pleasing and is actually a game, or in this case a game and a puzzle. Knot Dice Deluxe is an interesting offering, let’s take a look at what it is all about. The Deluxe version of Knot Dice comes in a 7 1/4” x 5” x 1” box that features a 2 1/4” plastic window displaying the beautiful custom dice inside. The game contains two booklets: a 36 page book that explains the games and a 20 page book devoted to the puzzles. The game rulebook devotes two or three pages for explaining each game. The games list the player count, time and complexity, as well as the instructions and related illustrations. For the most part these can be followed, however, it should be noted that there are videos online that also teach the games and the spatial relationships in some of the games are easier to grasp while watching the videos. The puzzle book features a nice selection of puzzles and even includes a section on how to notate your solutions. The deluxe edition contains an opulent black velvet bag with a drawstring that has the logo embroidered onto it. This makes an excellent storage and transportation accessory and further adds to the classiness of the production. Some of the activities use the enclosed painted wood tokens which have a celtic design silkscreened onto them. The main attraction is the thirty-six 3/4” custom dice. These are a marbled green color with engraved faces filled with silver paint, giving the impression of dice made of jade with silver inlays. One of the more fascinating elements of the game collection is that there are several designers contributing games. There is a decent range of games, especially when considering that each of the games use the same dice. There are both cooperative games and competitive games. One of the nice features of the presentation is that each of the games is taught in the same format. We’ll take a look at “Kells” as an example.
minutes and has a low complexity. There is then a short backstory and objective. Followed by the Setup and Game Play. This is followed by how the game ends and the scoring method. And finally there is an Advance variant. “Kells” like many of the games included in the package is about constructing Celtic Knot designs. This is not only challenging, but the results are often quite stunning. Here players will work together in trying to complete a Celtic Knot design. This may sound easy, but if you have to discard 3 or more dice from the game, you lose. It also provides a nice introductory point for the rest of the games. Knot Dice is a gorgeous collection of games and puzzles. The quality of the components is excellent and the final positions of the games and puzzles are quite beautiful. This is the type of game that I would expect to see at a retail outlet that specializes in gourmet and connoisseur type items or a museum. And while the aesthetics of the game are quite pleasing, it is the game play and especially the puzzles that make this worth picking up. I was quite impressed with the puzzles, as they provided a challenge and had various levels of difficulty, thus providing an excellent solitaire experience. Overall this is a package that is going to appeal to players who are looking for a wide variety of games and the option of being challenged by puzzles. Fans of Celtic culture will want to add this to their collection just on the theme alone. Since many of the games are for two players, it is perfect for couples. I can also see this appealing to young children, as the games and puzzles will challenge their inquisitive minds, but not overload them with heavy strategies.
Designers: Matthew O’Malley Publisher: Black Oak Games Number of players: 1-4 Mechanic: Co-op, Various, Puzzles Ages: 8+ Length: 15-30 mins.
“Kells” is a cooperative game for 1-3 players (1-4 players if using the Deluxe version or purchasing a second set) that takes 15
Game Nite Issue #15
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