“A flute without holes is not a flute.  A donut without a hole, is a Danish” – Ty Webb

So, then what do you call a board game with no board?

We’ll call it – Hive.

Trying to keep it in the theme of Halloween, here’s a board game…uh…game…called Hive.  While its not spooky or scary, doesn’t deal with monsters or the occult, and no one really dies, what does it have to do with Halloween?  Well, Hive is all about…BUGS!  Ok, some of you weren’t impressed.  That’s ok, keep reading.

Hive is a highly addictive strategic game for two players that is not restricted by a board and can be played anywhere on any flat surface. Hive is made up of twenty two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of creatures each with a unique way of moving.

With no setting up to do, the game begins when the first piece is placed down. As the subsequent pieces are placed this forms a pattern that becomes the playing surface (the pieces themselves become the board). Unlike other such games, the pieces are never eliminated and not all have to be played. The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to totally surround his opponent’s queen wins the game.

Easy, right?  Wrong.

You take turns laying down tiles with 1 rule – your color can only be placed touching the same color.  Which seems easy at first, but as the playing field increases, it gets hard to strategically place your pieces, while keeping your queen on the move and out of harm’s way.

Adding to the difficulty is that the bugs have certain movement patterns.  For example, the ant can move around the hive as many spaces as you want, but the spider can only move 3 spaces.  Grasshoppers can jump over pieces in a straight line, whereas the beetle can crawl on top of the hive and stop an opponent from moving.

There are also 2 expansions for Hive: The Mosquito and The Ladybug.  The Mosquito takes on the characteristics of any bug it is touching and The Ladybug moves 2 spaces on top of the hive, and 1 down.  Both pieces greatly change-up play dynamics and strategy.

Hive is worth checking out if you’re looking for a portable, play anywhere type of game.

So, what do you think?

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