This game is a mashup of so many different things: It’s a combination of a building system and a STEM game that borrows rules from checkers, chess, and tic-tac-toe, giving kids a game that they won’t get bored with because it has so many different elements.
First, players need to build the 3D grid system by connecting all of the separate pieces, like a construction toy. Every game is different because kids can build the grid in a variety of ways. For example, there are three-layer grids, cube-shaped grids, tall tower-like grids, or whatever else kids set their minds to.
The grid can also change mid-game: The board you start with is different than the board you end up with. Each player gets 10 extra parts at the beginning of the game that they can use to alter the board at any time to keep things interesting. The add-a-pad allows players to grow the grid-set for more playing room, and the blocker-box allows players to shrink the grid-set for a smaller space. Essentially, kids are designing and evolving their game board as they play.
The game is meant for two to four people, but players can purchase extension sets and extra parts on the Gridopolis website if more people want to play together. Once the grid is built, kids can play the game by using their assigned pawns, or markers, to move and jump over their opponents’ pawns, like a game of checkers.
Kids can play with no time limit to be the last marker standing, or they can play with any time limit they choose while using a point system. It takes about 20 to 60 minutes to build and play a full game.
Each player takes a turn moving a marker one space in any direction (except backward), including up, down, and diagonally, across multiple levels. Players can jump over their opponents’ pawns to eliminate them. Because the grid has multiple levels, players can make jumps from above or below. There are also special spots on the grid called hyper-pads that act as teleporters. If a pawn lands on one of those spots, it can teleport to any of the other hyper-pads on the grid in one move so players can use it strategically to move ahead to certain spots. When players land on an opponent’s home-row, they get kinged like in a game of chess, which has major advantages because kings are allowed two separate moves per turn. There are also opportunities for kamikaze moves, in which players sacrifice their own markers and points in order to capture an opponent.
Although there are a lot of rules, the game is easy to understand once it gets started because it uses a combination of rules from classic games you already know. The instruction booklet also says that the rules are flexible, so feel free to tweak things, as long as all players agree.
People can purchase one of the remaining first-edition sets now. Once those sell out, people can check back to the Gridopolis website to preorder the second edition, with delivery expected in the spring.
Engage your brain and change things up with this evolving 3D game!