FTW Staff Picks - Ricochet Robots June 20 2017
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Alex Randolph
Player Size: 1 to 99 Players
Game Length: 30 minutes
For fans of: Braintopia, Ubongo
No that's not a typo on the box, Ricochet Robots, claims to support upwards to 99 players. The only other games I've seen make this bold claim is Werewolf & Mafia. And while playing a 99-player Ricochet Robot game would be completely ridiculous for purposes of everyone seeing the board - it's actually possible. And unlike Werewolf & Mafia, the game doesn't slow down as you add more players, in fact it probably ramps up in speed. Also advertised on the box is "over 1500 board configurations!" I came in thinking that was also an exaggeration, but it's actually a legitimate claim and each different configuration will change the way the game is played.
Ricochet Robots is a puzzle game where players race to find the quickest solution. Each turn a token is flipped representing a space on the board. Depending on the colour of that token, players must (in their minds only) build a path from the matching coloured robot to that space on the board. The rules for moving robots are that they may only move horizontally and vertically, and they must continue moving until they hit either another robot or a wall. Once they hit an object, they may stop there, or to continue moving they must turn 90 degrees in another direction.
Once a player thinks they've solved the puzzle, they shout out the number of moves their solution requires and flip the 1 minute sand-timer. Everyone else then has within that time frame to find a solution that is either less moves or they can say something equal or more moves if they think the initial player miscalculated. Once time is up, the player who guessed the least amount of moves shows their solution on the board. If they are incorrect, the next least goes. Whoever correctly presents the quickest solution wins the token. The player with the most tokens at the end of the game wins.
Ricochet Robots is fast and easy to teach. It can accommodate a large group of players and has a near-infinite level of replayability. The component-to-modularity ratio is off the charts. It's a game with some of the best value you'll find on the market. It's tough to find these days, but we've got a copy for play here at the cafe. For anyone who loves brain-busting puzzles mixed with speed, I'd definitely recommend them to try this one out!