$10.00
Paul Nowak
United States
Greenville
Michigan
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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What better game to write my first review - one with no reviews with which to be compared!

I found Kinesis at a local thrift store a few months ago, quickly realizing that there was little information on BGG for this game. Unfortunately, as abstract strategy games are not my cup of tea, and life was in the way, it has taken some time to pull off the shelf.

Components



Kinesis is comprised of 24 sticks and 16 stones (8 of each color). All pieces are of dense plastic - the sticks resemble the weight and feel of plastic dominoes - and the stones have a pearlized finish. The board has a nice woodgrain pattern to it, so the overall effect is sophisticated instead of cheap.


Gameplay


The first impression after going over the rulebook is its similarity to Shuttles. The goal is to get ONE stone to the other side, while manipulating the sticks on the board to accelerate your stones, while blocking your opponent from accomplishing the same goal, with the same sticks.



To briefly summarize the rules:
1) Turns are composed of a Move Phase and a Sliding Phase
2) On their turn's move phase, a player may:
a)move a single stone forward or backward one space (the rulebook authors mention they sometimes allow sideways movement in their own matches - this changes defensive play considerably)
b) move a single stick 1 or 2 spaces forward, backward, right or left or any combination (such as 1 forward, 1 left). A player may only move a stick that has at least one of their pieces, and none of their opponent's pieces on it.


With 1 piece of each color on it, neither player can move this stick.

3) On a player's sliding phase, they slide one stone as far as it is able along open connected sticks.


Slide!

4) Pieces may not jump each other, pass through each other, or enter/cross the two black spaces on the board.
5) If a stick moves over a stone on the board and has the space for it, it picks it up (called "hitchhiking")


About to pick up a "hitchhiker"

6) To win, a player needs to get a single stone into his opponent's home row, either on its own or on a stick.

Conclusion

When I first brought Kinesis home, my wife wanted to get rid of it. After we played the first game (so that I could write this review before trading/selling it) she declared she wanted to keep it.

While not my preferred style of game, Kinesis has a bit more to offer than other abstract strategy games, particularly more fluidity and options than Shuttles. It will certainly see play again, though probably more among my sons and my wife than myself.
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Mike Toner
United States
New York
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During the move phase, do you chose to move a disc OR a stick (or both)?
 
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Paul Nowak
United States
Greenville
Michigan
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You have paid retail for the last time.
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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GreenMeeple wrote:
During the move phase, do you chose to move a disc OR a stick (or both)?


Either or. Thanks for asking.
 
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