It really bugs me how much I like playing Hive

This simple but highly strategic game mite be your next favourite game

Photo: Gen42 Games
Photo: Gen42 Games

by Marco Ovies, Arts Editor

When I walked into my favourite game store — Mind Games — in search of my next game, the staff quickly directed me to Hive. They explained to me that this game is a lot similar to chess, except there is no board. This means that it is insanely easy to set up (because there is no set up) and super portable. It looked simple enough, but after playing just one game I understood what all the buzz was about. 

The goal of the game is to surround your opponent’s Queen Bee. Each player starts by placing one piece down on the table to start, and then you begin building the field from there. After your first piece, you may either place another piece that is not touching your opponents pieces in any direction or move one of your pieces that is already on the field. Just like chess, different pieces move in different ways. For instance, the grasshopper can jump over pieces in a straight line, while the beetle can climb on top of pieces, preventing them from moving. 

The thing that you have to be careful about is that you lose if your Queen Bee is surrounded by your own pieces as well. Essentially, you have to create a way to add new pieces to the board without endangering yourself and keeping an eye on what your opponent is doing. 

If I have to be entirely honest, it can get a little bit stressful — but in a good way. I found each game brought a new challenge and left me struggling to figure out my next move. That could just be because I was playing with my girlfriend, who is much smarter than me. 

But what I really want to geek out about is the actual pieces of the game. These aren’t your cheap, plastic pieces that will break after a couple of rounds. No, according to the box these are made out of black and almond phenolic resin tiles. What does that even mean? I have no clue, but they look amazing and have a surprisingly nice weight to them. 

So next time you’re at your local game store, be sure to ask them about Hive. I’m sure whoever helps you out will tell you it’s the pest game ever.