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BIG POINTS

Reviewed by Chris Kovac

BIG POINTS (Schmidt Spiele, 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; about $20)

 

Big Points is a quick playing abstract game designed by Bridget and Wolfgang Ditt from Schmidt games (part of their easy play games series).

The object of the game is collecting colored disks which are worth variable points by the end of the game. The game comes in a medium sized square box and you get multilingual rules including English along with five colored pawns, checker size colored disks in seven colors and pieces to assemble the“scoring stairs”.bigpoints

Setting up the game is fairly straightforward and involves setting up the scoring steps and putting beside them one disk of each color (five colors) except for the black and white disks. The black and white disks do not give the players any points at the end of the game but give the players special actions during the game. From these stairs, you randomly lay down the remaining disks in a single line and put the colored pawns (matching the five basic colors of the disk markers) at the end of this line.

During a player turn, one moves one of the pawns in the direction of the scoring stairs to the next disk in line which matches the color of the pawn. Then, the player chooses to take the disk either in front of or in back of the disk on which the pawn is sitting. You cannot take a disk on which a pawn sits. White disks allow you to score bonus points for each disk of a different color you have so each white disk is worth at most five bonus points. The black disks can be discarded by a player and used to take another turn (but not on the turn you take them) or move one pawn backwards to the previous color marker in line (you cannot collect a disk for this part of the action). This jump back is often used to delay a pawn getting to the stairs (so the pawn you wish to get there gets there first and is worth more points). The first pawn to the stairs will score four points for all disks of that color. Each subsequent pawn getting to the stairs will be worth a point less with the last being worth 0. The player with the highest total of points wins.

Throughout the game you have to balance off collecting disks with having to get pawns to the stairs quickly so you can control which of the disks is worth more. If you move a pawn too early to the stairs, your opponents will scoop the disks of these colors from you; too late and your disks are worth fewer points. At the same time, the other players are trying to do the same thing so your plan can change from turn to turn. The simple illustrated rules, quick playing time, well made wooden pieces and depth of play help make this game fun and the random setup makes sure no two games are alike. – – – – – – – – – – – Chris Kovac


 

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