Square Grid Connection Games
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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The original connection games use a hex grid. They do so for a good reason. On a square grid - which may assume connectivity to the orthogonally adjacent fields or to the orthogonally and diagonally adjacent fields - a cross-cut may form, and the rules have to deal with that in an often not so obvious manner.

This list is for the games that achieve the goal. They must be played on a square grid with the goal of connecting two opposing sides of the board by an unbroken chain of stones. If you add an item, please explain shortly how the game works (around cross-cuts).

Update: Adding one diagonal to a rectangular grid gives a hex grid. For that reason, I regarded games with pre-marked boards as impure and I wanted to exclude them. If I do that, games with pre-filled boards should be excluded as well. And that would exclude legitimate candidates. Instead, I will group items with pre-marked or pre-filled boards at the end of the list. Emulated hex grids still do not count.
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1. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1685]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Twixt PP (the paper and pencil variant) is likely the oldest square grid connection game. Connections between one's own pegs may not be crossed by the opponent.
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2. Board Game: Gonnect [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:10184]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Gonnect is a hybrid territory, race, and connection game. The winning condition is to connect two opposing sides. Cross-cuts are possible, but the rules enforce that they will be removed (captured) during the game.
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3. Board Game: Quax [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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In Quax PP, cross-cuts are allowed, but only one player may claim the connection by marking it at the cost of a move.
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4. Board Game: Lynx [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Lynx uses the mechanism of Dots and Boxes for establishing ownership of a field. An extra rule - only three lines from a vertex - prevents cross-cuts.
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5. Board Game: Crossway [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Crossway forbids cross-cuts of any kind which is a working solution.
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6. Board Game: Akron [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:9043]
Hubert Orlik-Grzesik
Poland
Studzionka
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Quite innovative connection game: marbles can be stacked to avoid cross-cuts. They also move.

Well, this is not exactly played on a grid, but I hope it fits here since it doesn't emulate hexagonal topology in any way
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7. Board Game: Stymie [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Stymie is played on the same board as Quax. I was trying to get a game into Connection Games, and Cameron already had Quax. So to get in the book, I needed to invent a game that wasn't Quax.
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8. Board Game: Mirador [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Mirador has line of sight connectivty. Winning connections can be either top/down or left/right. The rules are more complicated than those of other connection games, but still reasonable.
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9. Board Game: Chain Lightning [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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The name of Chain Lighting refers to the oldest connection game, namely Lightning. Players use different connectivities and have a different number of moves per turn.
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10. Board Game: Slither [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:5521]
 
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Particle Bond forbids diagonal placement that is not orthogonally connected at the end of the turn.
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11. Board Game: BRIDG-IT [Average Rating:5.08 Overall Rank:15546]
Phil Leduc
United States
Tiverton
Rhode Island
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Although Bridg-it has a pre-filled game board, it can be played without the "bridge supports" (which can be thought of as pre-placed tokens). These supports simply make the game easier to play and are aesthetically pleasing. Rules for playing Bridg-it without the supports follow. Note that diagonal connections of like tokens are not possible so cross-cuts are eliminated.

Using an 13 x 13 game board, on a turn, a player chooses an empty square whose sum of row and column numbers is even (between the invisible supports). For example, row 5 and column 3, 5+3 = 8 which is even. The player places a token in this square and then must if possible place a token to either side of the square based on the following rules.

If the row and column numbers are even, the player must place tokens in the adjacent empty squares that are in the player's game direction. The vertical player would place token above and below the selected square. The horizontal player would place token left and right of the selected square. Note that the adjacent square will always be empty or already contain a token of the correct color!

If the row and column numbers are odd, the player must also place tokens in the adjacent empty squares that are perpendicular to the player's game direction. The vertical player would place tokens left and right (horizontal) of the select square. The horizontal player would place tokens above and below (vertical) the selected square.
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12. Board Game: Network [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Network uses line of sight connectivity and allows cross-cuts. That turns it into a race game.
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13. Board Game: Trellis [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Trellis uses a pre-marked board. The marks indicate which way crosscuts connect.
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14. Board Game: Metamorphosis [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Metamorphosis is Hex-like insofar as the players must connect certain opposing sides, not just any opposing pair. The board is pre-filled. You flip a piece which then triggers Reversi/Othello-like captures. A special rule that you must decrease the number of groups of one coloured stones on the board prevents loops.
 
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15. Board Game: Talpa [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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Talpa empties a board progressively by the Clobber mechanic. The player who paves a way first wins, unless he achieves his and the opponent's winning condition simultaneously. In that case, he loses. Only orthogonal connections count.
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16. Board Game: Thruway [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Phil Leduc
United States
Tiverton
Rhode Island
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Thruway was a game inspired by this list!

Thruway uses crossover resolution as a game mechanism.

In the accompanying figure the lower red square indicates an asphalt square that is part of a crossroads/crossover dispute which must be resolve before black can be declared the winner. Players resolve the dispute by swapping any orthogonally adjacent pair of the four tiles that are part of a dispute.
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17. Board Game: Druid [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Quinn Swanger
United States
Holly Springs
North Carolina
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Two types of pieces. 3D. Deadlock you say? No problem, just go over the top.
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18. Board Game: SteinPlatz [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Pablo Schulman
Brazil
Belo Horizonte
Minas Gerais
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The game avoids the problem the same way as druid. Going up!
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19. Board Game: Konobi [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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A square board connection game designed to have tighter tactics than Crossway. Diagonal connections are possible, but can only be made if all the available orthogonal connections to the same stone also make diagonal connections to other stones.

The cold dynamics inherent in this game make it somewhat more balanced than many other games in the family, and provide an interesting challenge even on quite small boards. Ladders can be especially tricky compared to Hex, for instance.
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20. Board Game: Quentin [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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Drawless square board connection game where players claim territories with a majority of friendly stones surrounding them. This simple mechanism makes deadlocks impossible.

Fun, innovative and deep.
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21. Board Game: Brique [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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This game introduces an altogether new mechanism to prevent deadlocks on a square board. The implication is that every square is effectively connected to six neighbors, even though only orthogonal connections are used.

How is this even possible?!
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22. Board Game: Vimbre [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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Drawless square board connection game with double stone placement and banned diagonal connections. Instead of placing one or two stones, you have the option of flipping a single enemy stone sandwiched between your own stones.

This is probably the best square board connection game with double moves and static (permanent) connections. But don't trust my word, just play it!
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23. Board Game: Kopano [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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Drawless square board connection game with great clarity and a touch of coldness. Diagonal-only connections are only allowed if placing an enemy stone on the same point would also create one. This simple twist on Crossway makes for much tighter, less direct tactics and makes the game challenging on quite smaller boards, like 11x11.
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24. Board Game: Trisq [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Luis Bolaños Mures
Spain
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Drawless connection game played with trapezium-shaped pieces on a square board. Pieces can be placed with any orientation, and each square can accommodate four of them. One or two pieces can be placed on each turn.

This, together with the Slither restriction (no "bare diagonal" connections at the end of a turn), makes draws impossible.
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25. Board Game: September [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:15257]
Rey Alicea
United States
New Jersey
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This game is from 1985.


The aim of this game is to construct a continuous line from one end of the board to the other using the shapes provided. The red player aims to connect the North-South edges of the board while the yellow player aims for an East-West connection.
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