The forest is not the serene place that you may think it is. The forest floor is full of new seeds every year and each year there is competition for the resources of the forest that will make the plants successful. Trees grow and grow and as they grow they strive to get their leaves into the sunlight. This is the concept behind Treeblox designed by Philip Olenyk and published by Emergent Plant Life in 2021.
Treeblox is a 2 player game that takes place on a board with a 4x4 grid of holes in it. Each player has 32 cubes 16 that are leaves and 16 that are branches. The cubes have holes on 5 sides and a peg sticking out on the 6th. One player has lighter colored cubed and the other has the darker set. Players will take turns placing cubes onto the board or onto other cubes already on the board.
I enjoyed how the trees formed organically through game.
When placing a new cube onto the board you may only put it with the peg going into the board or into a branch cube. You may never put a cube into a leave cube. This simple rule leads to the cubes taking on a very tree like form as you build up cubes. I enjoyed how the trees formed organically through game.
There is one mechanic in the game aside from just placing your tiles. To score you look at the board from above and each leaf cube that is not obstructed scores at the end of the game. However during the game on your turn count the amount of unobstructed leaves and if its 3+ then you may place 2 cubes on your turn if its only 2 or less then you are placing one. Lastly if you have zero leaf cubes then the game is over and you have lost. This does a great job of simulating the growth of trees.
There is one last thing that happens at the end of the game. If one player runs out of cubes then that also ends the game. If the other player still has cubes they may now play the rest of them. So, it dose not always pay to finish first in this game.
...it dose not always pay to finish first in this game.
Although the game presents its self as a simple game the game becomes complex and develops interesting and engaging strategies quite quickly. The game feels less like your are playing with blocks (I have a 2 year old I know about some block playing) and more like your playing a 3d version of Go or Othetho. In Treeblox you are not removing or flipping the other players pieces but if you do block them then you have taken that piece out of scoring.
Treeblox is a fun 2 player game where both players are competing for sunlight. The unique 3 dimensional aspect of the game leans into the them as well as giving the game unique and interesting play without it being a gimmick. This is a great game for some quick fun, Its also a great game for the patio as there are no cards to blow away. So if your looking for something to put in the RV or you having a night in with your loved one this game will fit the bill.
Year Published: 2021
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 15