One of my better games: Odd
I invented this a few years ago, on a lark, without playtesting or more than a few seconds consideration. But it turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve designed, out of hundreds. I wish all games were this easy. Bonus points for being the simplest of all my games.
Odd is a game for two players, played with black and white stones on this initially-empty board:
Definition: A Group is a set of connected, like-colored stones on the board, containing at least 5 stones
- Players take turns. On your turn you must place either one black stone or one white stone onto any empty space.
- The game ends when the board is full. Player 1 wins if there is an odd number of groups on the board at that time and Player 2 wins otherwise. Important: when counting groups, make sure to count groups of both colors. Example:
In the picture above, there are 3 groups (one white and two black), and because there’s an odd number, player 1 wins.
Note: The game can be played on larger boards and in that case you should change the minimum number of stones in a group. A good rule of thumb is that the minimum group size should equal the number of cells on one side of the Hex board.
Printable rules and boards for paper-and-pencil play