Blokus is a board game that is beginning to find a home at Family Game Nights. The game is designed for two to four players, but is at its best when four players are at the table.
The concept is simple. Think "Competive Tetris." All players begin the game with the same number of "pieces" or "shapes" that must be placed on the board. Players commence by placing a tile in their personal corner. From there, players alternate turns and attempt to carve out a territory for themselves by strategically placing tiles, which are only allowed to touch at the corners.
While the game starts out slow, the early moves lay the framework of each player's strategy. Some players choose to lay odd shapes first, some choose to spread only to their left or right, some choose to build close to home. No matter what strategy is employed, players will never experience the same game twice. Players change, strategies evolve, and games only take about 15-20 minutes.
Bottom line: it's a thinking game, and oddly addicting given its simplicity. It's not a flash-in-the-pan game either; Blokus has received numerous accolades: Best Game - The Brain Sports Foundation of Japan (2005); Toy of the Year - Independent Toy Specialist (2004); and 24 other awards since it was released in 2000.
Grab three friends and give this one a shot on game night; you'll work parts of your brain you have activated since you sold your Gameboy.