Abstract Games

The word "abstract" might make you think of swirling colors, randomization and whatever else the hipsters in the Village are in to, but in the gaming world it connotes the opposite—abstract games minimize luck in favor of set rules and pure logic. Chess and Go are the most famous abstract games, and arguably the best games in the entire universe (if you want to get technical).

In an abstract game you have no hidden information, no non-deterministic elements (dice-rolling, card-shuffling), and a finite number of alternating turns between (usually) two players. There's no theme, just pieces and a board and your mind, with which you are to demonstrate your superior skill and intelligence locked in intellectual combat against whoever wants to lose to your extreme braininess.

J. Mark Thompson wrote that "there is an intimate relationship between such games and puzzles: every board position presents the player with the puzzle, What is the best move?, which in theory could be solved by logic alone. A good abstract game can therefore be thought of as a "family" of potentially interesting logic puzzles, and the play consists of each player posing such a puzzle to the other. Good players are the ones who find the most difficult puzzles to present to their opponents."

Okay, Mr. Thompson, we know you'd beat us all in Mancala, but we'd have more fun than you.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

 

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Abstract Games
25 Items found Print
Botswana
from Gryphon Games
Abstract Game for 3rd-Adult
Checkers
from Fundex Games
Abstract Game for All Ages
Chess - 11" Deluxe Set
for ages 10 and up
Go: The Ancient Chinese Strategy Game
from Gamekeeper
Abstract Game for All Ages
Gobblet
by Blue Orange
from Blue Orange
Abstract Game for 3rd-Adult
Gobblet Gobblers
by Blue Orange
from Blue Orange
Abstract Game for 3rd-Adult
Ingenious
from Fantasy Flight Games
Abstract Game for ages 8 and up
Iota
from Gamewright Games
for 3rd-Adult
Mancala
by University Games
Abstract Game for 1st-Adult
Mancala: Folding Wood Board
by University Games
Abstract Game for 1st-Adult
Mastermind
by Pressman
from Pressman Toy Corporation
Abstract game for ages 8-adult
Mastermind for Kids
by Pressman
from Pressman Toy Corporation
Abstract game for 4th-8th grade
Othello (or Reversi)
by Mattel
from Mattel
Abstract Game, Two Player for Ages 8 to Adult
Pentago
from MindTwister USA
for ages 8 and up
Pentago (Multiplayer)
from MindTwister USA
for ages 8 and up
Pente
from Hasbro
Abstract Game for ages 8 and up
Qwirkle
from Mindware
Abstract Game for
Qwixx
from Gamewright Games
Abstract Game for 3rd-Adult
SET (Game)
from SET Enterprises
Abstract Game for 1st-Adult
SET Dice
from SET Enterprises
Abstract Game for 2nd-Adult
SET Junior
from SET Enterprises
Abstract Game for 1st-Adult
Suspend Family Game
from Melissa & Doug Toys
for 2nd-Adult
The Duke Game: Reinforcements - City Troops
for 7th-Adult
The Duke Game: Siege Engines - Middles Ages Expansion Pack
for 7th-Adult
Ultimate Mastermind
by Pressman
from Pressman Toy Corporation
Abstract Game for 4th-Adult