February 15, 2004


by Susan Rozmiarek

My younger son, Shea, really enjoys abstract games. So lately, after he takes a bath in the evening, we've been trying out some different games.


  Tonight it was Gobblet, which I found on a 50% off table at Barnes & Nobles. It comes with really nice wooden pieces and a board that slides out to reveal a compartment underneath. It’s not a bad deal for $15. As Ron Hale-Evans pointed out on the Piecepack Yahoo discussion group, there is room in this compartment to keep pieces to play other games. So now I'm on a hunt to find rules for other games played on a 4X4 board.

Gobblet itself is a nice little game. It’s a variant of tic-tac-toe, in which you are trying to get four of your pieces in a row. The twist is the pieces are of four different sizes, which all nest together. So when they move they can “gobble” up smaller pieces. These remain underneath until the bigger piece(s) move and uncover it again. This gives the game a bit of a memory element, which makes it quite different from other games of this type. Shea is rather good at it and beat me 3/5 times. There is a slight fix for the game suggested by Bruno Faidutti, which forbids the starting player from making his first placement on one of the center four squares of the board.

Susan and Shea play Gobblet. Watch out for Shea, he's a shark at the game.

Gobblet close up.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at February 15, 2004 11:53 PM


There are several rules for 4x4 games here: http://ludism.org/ppwiki/GenericAbstracts. I can't vouch for their quality, unfortunately.

Posted by: Iain on February 16, 2004 3:03 AM

Thanks, Iain. This is exactly what I was looking for. I haven't really fully explored the Piecepack Wiki site yet and hadn't seen this page.

Posted by: Susan on February 17, 2004 2:02 PM
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