a Good Case of Hives

Monkeyknifefight

Remember those cheesy films where two guys would be tied together by the arm and knife fight ? That’s Hive. Just swap moody heroes for insects

Hive is a two player game that’s cheap, portable, quick and easy to learn. Have I mentioned it’s portable?

It’s a neat little gateway game and lends itself to playing in a restricted area like a train, pub, iso cube. Actually the last one won’t work its strictly two player.

Each player starts with a dozen or so hexagonal tiles with a variety of bug types on the face of each. The key one is the Queen whom you have to stop your opponent surrounding on six sides whilst simultaneously trying to do the same to your opponent’s.

hive1

It can be surprisingly strategic. You need to think several steps ahead. It’s a bit like chess. Well it’s more like a mid game of chess where you’re down to the last dozen pieces or so. It’s also a lot of fun

Just like chess or the Pope the various bugs move in mysterious ways. Queens can move one “space” around the edge of the tangle of pieces. Grass hoppers jump over pieces in straight lines, ants can zip to any spot around the edge. For me the beetles are kings. Like slow moving suma characters from any fight games these dudes lumber in on top of other pieces and choke hold the queen so lesser bugs can pile in.

The game itself is a work of art. It comes in a variety of materials. Wood and well hard plastic or carbon which is made of hard plastic. So two materials really. There’s a lovely solid feel to the pieces like good poker chips. The game play is fairly fast, depending on your opponent and yourself I suppose. It’s got a little bit of variety and it does have a second and maybe third game feel to it.

Hive-Complete

There are a couple of expansions for it. None of which I’ve played so I can’t comment on them and there’s a decent app version which despite being pretty slick just doesn’t have the same feel as playing with the physical chips.

It’s a fine bridge between checkers and chess in terms of complexity and it’s certainly kid friendly.

A classic two player everyone should have. Huzzah!

Vic

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