Quick Look: InFUNity Tiles: The Puzzling Brainteaser for All Ages
Publisher: Atlas Games
Year Published: On Kickstarter A few more days Thu, November 16 (Link at bottom of Review)
InFUNity Tiles are a set of plastic Einstein tiles that allows a practical approach to non-periodical tiling.
An introduction about shapes and Infinity
Think about a flat surface and a unique shape. Now try to fill this surface with the shape you have chosen without changing its size, you may change its orientation. Well for some of you it is impossible. In fact, from the infinity of shapes there are only a handful that will meet this simple requirement. Need an example? If you chose a square or a triangle, you’ll be able to fill the flat surface by repeating them and simply arranging them, if you chose a circle then what ever you do you’ll always be left with holes between your circles that you won’t be able to fill with other circles without overlap. This is already a special feature that some shapes have and not all of them. Most polygons with a small amount of sides share this feature but when it comes to random polygons with a bigger amount of side this is quite a rare feature.
Now things about a pattern you can do with shapes to still fill the whole planes. You’ll understand quickly that the squares are quite limiting in the amount of patterns you can do, either a chess board or rows of squares that are misaligned. Anyway, you’ll have some sort of regularity involved. You won’t be able to make a shape that is not repeating in a Infinite 2D Space. Because it is a periodic tilling shape. Like most the shapes known to man. In fact even making use of more than one shape, most of the tilling you would come up with that would fill the plane completely would be periodical. If you fill in with circles, and their complementary shape in a Euclidian Space, you’ll hand up creating a periodical tilling.
The so called Einstein tile is actually the first that allows infinite non periodical tilling on its own, making use of its reflection.
So much for math generalities let’s talk about the product.
InFUNity Tiles as such
Well I stated product because what Atlas games is selling here seems more like a product to me than a real game material, of course you can have fun with it. I’d say the same about a ball, but I wouldn’t classify the ball as a game, more like a tool in the broad sense to play a game. The game I can play with the ball will be Football for example, an how much fun I’ll have playing will depend not so much on the ball itself but rather on the rules of the Game I use the ball in.
So basically we are sold a concept for the moment that is lacking a game but is a very interesting concept that may or may not become the next standard. I can only imagine that the first time somebody introduced an Hexagonal shape to a group that had ever only played with square based games (like chess) they were confused. Certainly if what they brought were plastic or wooden hexagons without much rule to come with them.
But for hexagons some people noticed very well the advantage of the shape, allowing to progress not only forward or sideway but a little of both in “one move”. Ever since hexagons have been used for loads of games. But not as hexagons only, as a tool to create a terrain on which another game takes place.
Einstein tiling present the advantage that not each tile is actually connected to the same amount of other tiles, not even getting in the vector path that one could take across a field of Einstein tiles to optimize its progression in a game.
Technically I know there is a game that is only based on hexagon placing and area control through color changing tiles but it’s not the most exiting one and can be cracked in a few play.
In a nutshell
Am I exited by this new shape, yes very much. Am I exited by the tiles on their own as a board game, not much.
So It is not worth it ! Not so fast young boy, if you believe that this will be the next best things like people that believed in the internet 30 years ago and want to be the next Jef Bezos, you might want to start low, buy your self some and try to see what you can create with it, how you can use that shape to shape an infinite never repeating board for your next board game or just be acquainted with before this becomes a disruptive change in board game boards and have the early strategical advantage on your friends by literally knowing the terrain better than they do. Too early or FOMO choice is yours.
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QuelqunQui (literally Someone who in French) is an eclectic who can’t stop doing more than one thing at a time.. Quelqunqui is a harpsichordist and gamer at heart that doesn’t abide by rules he doesn’t believe in. When not playing he’s traveling the world for the Belgian Air force.
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