★★★★½ Ingenious: you don’t have to be a genius to play this game, but it can’t hurt.

Check out this game if: you are looking for a clever game with medium strategy.

This game stands out because: clever scoring in both how you score points and what points you need to win.

Positives:
1. Game starts slow -which allows beginners a chance to figure it out before it ramps up.
2. Game ramps up -the end of the game provides for clever actions.
3. Pulling off a clever action feels great (but if you can’t it just feels unlucky).
4. Game is easy to set up and teach.
5. Game looks great on the table.
6. Plays a wide range of ages (abstract theme).

Negative:
1. Not drawing a good tile for a couple rounds can feel discouraging (but it’s rare).
2. Only plays up to four players.

Brief Overview:
In this game you are trying to score points in 5 different colors. You score points by placing tiles on a board and matching colors. At the end of the game all the players compare their lowest color’s score. The player with the highest low score wins.

Versions:
Ingenious is a bit of a franchise and there is Ingenious the Dice Game, Card Game, and Tile Game. I enjoy all of these. Also, if you enjoy the abstract nature of this game, you should also look into Qwirkel, Azul, Santorini, & Patchwork.


Teaching Advice:
Like some many games, this is best taught by showing and telling. Setting up a mock scenario for teaching this game will go a long way (spend an extra minute setting up an example and it will save you time explaining the concept).

With a mock scenario set up, show how scoring works (both placing your tile and moving your colored peg(s). Also, be sure to mention that the player’s lowest score is how you win this game (it’s unique so you may want to mention it again half way through the game).

Number of Players 2-4
Age 10+
Time 45 mins
Friendly ★★★☆☆
Teachable ★★★★★
Replayability ★★★★☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★★
Interaction ★★★★☆

Link to tutorial video on YouTube.

Link to Ingenious on Amazon

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