As most regular readers of our reviews know, I’m a sucker for a good game in a small package. Well, the packages don’t get much smaller than Kuzushi from Gobico. What we have here is a simple, accessible area control game that features just enough strategy to stay engaging despite the fact that there are more or less 2 rules in play. Your goal in Kuzushi is to win either by have majority control over the field or by emptying your hand of cards first. On each turn:
- Either place one of your bases into the field adjacent to another card, or you will flip over one of your flags, turning it into a base.
- Add flags to areas you control next to your new base.
That’s it. And that’s plenty. Each time a base gets added to the field (either by being placed or by having a flag flipped over), you will check for control over all spaces adjacent to it. You control a space if you have the most adjacent bases to it.
If, by virtue of your opponent adding a base (either by flipping a flag or dropping one in), you lose control of a space, a flag you have there is returned to your hand. So it’s important to both strategically add cards to the field in order to disrupt your opponent’s designs and to protect your own.
Kuzushi is a sublimely simple abstract with the sort of minimalism that will really appeal to some players, myself definitely included. It’s a perfectly portioned helping for two, providing a few minutes of quick strategy. Considering its price point, form factor, and portability, I think Kuzushi can easily fit into anyone’s collection (and pocket), and will add plenty of game opportunities for those who appreciate its accessible design.
And for those looking to add a couple more playmates to their game, Kuzushi Seasons is up on Kickstarter right now! This version of the game retains the original’s sublime simplicity, but adds enough components to play up to 4. And while I genuinely love the stark minimalism of the original, the new floral theme makes for a pleasant table presentation. The Kickstarter only has one day left, so I highly recommend checking it out now!