Today in the BGG chat room I had an idea for an abstract based on the arcade game Bubble Shooter. The idea came around when David Short, Mark Klassen I were discussing game design. Mark mentioned that he would like to design an abstract with the same level of playability and depth as Blokus. A discussion ensued about the popularity of Blokus. I claimed that part of its popularity was due to the similarity to the very popular arcade game Tetris. This got me to thinking about other arcade games that are popular…which led to Bubble Shooter type video games and apps which are hugely popular.
In this 2 player abstract players play from the opposite side of a square board…hoping to figure out how to make it a 4 player game later. The board is divided into three rectangles. A middle band that divides the two players home sides – the rectangles are of equal size. The board has holes that allow marbles to sit on the board. The middle band is filled with marbles – they could just be poured into the rectangle so that they are randomized. There would be five different coloured marbles.
Each player would have a bag of marbles (a mixture of the five colours). Each player would draw three marbles and play two – the other returned to the bag. The marbles must be placed in the players home section or in the neutral section. The placement would result in one of two things happening. If a placement creates a link of five of the same coloured marbles then they are removed from the board. Otherwise the placement of the marble remains and no marbles are removed.
There could be multiple win scenarios but for now the following have been thought of…(1) the first player to punch an empty pathway between their home section and the opponents home section would win or (2) a player has not spaces left to play a marble on their side or the neutral space of the board.
The lack of strategy was questioned by Mark and David. While it may not be chess it does have some strategy. The strategy would be in blocking the opponent’s progress by adding marbles to the home side of the board while removing marbles to get a pathway through to the other side. The more I think about the game and the balance between removing and blocking, the more I envision planning ahead.
David thought it should be called Goin’ Marbles!