I was included in a request to suggest games for a smart teenager who likes chess and strategy games. While other folks handled the strategy end, I decided to focus on the abstract end for my suggestions.
I had fun making the list and I thought it would be fun to share what I wrote:
Hive - This is a chess-like game of insects trying to surround the enemy Queen. The pieces are thick, chunky tiles and they create the board as you add them. It’s been around for years and still have a strong following.
The GIPF Project - A collection of pure abstracts by Kris Burm. I’ve played all but LYNGK (which came out this year) and I enjoyed all of them (although I didn’t care for the first one GIPF, as much) I’d recommend YINSH and ZERTZ in particular. And, to the best of my knowledge, the names don’t mean anything.
Pyramid Arcade - This is a tool kit of games from Looney Labs, the folks who made Fluxx. They all use nifty plastic, space-age looking pyramids. I’ve been having fun with the pyramids since 2004.
Ingenious- A domino game that uses hexagonal dominoes and the same scoring system as Tigris and Euphrates. It does have a random luck of the draw but it was my favorite game for a while.
Qwirkle - Scrabble without a board and using colors and symbols instead of letters. This is Carrie and my favorite game to play together and we have played it a lot over the years.
I’ve also heard very good things about Santorini, which involves building towers with special powers but I haven’t played it yet. I also have to give a nod to Puerto Rico for family gaming.