Manufacturer: Gen42 GamesHive is a board-less, strategic game for 2 players ages 8 and up. The object of the game is to surround your opponent's queen bee while trying to block your opponent from doing the same to your queen bee.
Each player has 11 tiles, all in all, representing 5 different insects. The players take turns, either choosing to add a tile to the hive or moving a tile in the hive.
Each tile has a unique way of moving (like in chess) and resembles the movement of the insect depicted on the tile. For instance, the grasshopper is the only tile which can jump.
Hive is a fun game to play because of its simple rules, yet challenging for its depth. Hive enhances each player's skills of strategic planning, tactical thinking and spatial vision. To win, you must play both the offense (surround your opponent's bee) and the defense (to protect your queen bee).
A nice decorative storage bag makes it easy to carry, store and play anywhere.
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- Fun Abstract
Hive is a fun game that doesn't take too long. Its pretty intuitive and beside the different movement styles for each type of piece, there are very few rules you need to remember.
Because it is easy to teach and play, I would recommend this game to anybody who enjoys classic board games (Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, etc.).
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Fantastic and strategically satisfying
When I teach this to kids or people who are not very “into" games, I will do so in three short games. I try to keep these first games very short by helping them to win fairly quickly.
The first game I will only use the Ants, the Beetles, and the Bee. I explain the moves of each piece and about not splitting the hive and that you can only move pieces that are able to slide out of their current position.
In the next game I will add the Spiders, explaining how they move. And in the last game, I will add the Grasshoppers. In my experience, the Grasshoppers seem to be the most difficult for people to understand so I save them for last so they have a good grasp of all the other pieces.
By the end of the third game they are excited and ready to play more.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Great Game, Great Quality
Hive is a very fun, highly strategic game similar to chess that uses hex pieces with bugs. Each bug has its own particular movement, and it's a game that really makes you think.
While I do I agree with the previous reviewer that the "bag" for the pocket version of the game could be better, I have to disagree with him in regards to the actual tiles themselves. Most games these days just give you cardboard, and these are engraved plastic that have quite a bit of weight to them and will definitely last a lifetime. I found them to be very impressive.
If smaller tiles bother you, though, then I'd suggest picking up the regular version. The pieces are larger and the game is just as portable. Personally, however, the pocket version is the best bargain since it does include the ladybug and mosquito expansions and can usually be found for under $20.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Atkinson's Analyses: Review of Hive
About once a month my wife and I go visiting our local game stores, followed by a trip for ice cream at our local parlor here in South Austin, and then a nice evening spent playing our new game and/or watching a DVD/Blu Ray once we get home. We don’t always purchase a new game but the tradition has become a comforting one and we both consider it time well spent, although I’m the gamer and she’s the one with the sweet tooth. She likes to say, “We have Balance.”
Last week, I got bit by the GAS (Game Acquisition Syndrome) beetle and wanted to go out looking. Having a specific game in mind after viewing some comments on YouTube by Tom Vasel and nearly placing an order on Amazon, deciding not to in order to support our local economy, I was nearly crushed when I saw the price tag of the gleaming box just waiting for me on the shelf at the store. I of course was willing to shell out the extra twenty bucks; my wife on the other hand was quite adamant about being more conscious about our budget.
While we were looking around at the other selections, we saw Hive. I’d never heard about this game by John Yianni. I was particularly interested in the awards proudly displayed on the relatively humble box. One in particular, printed in gold, that stood out was the Mensa Select Award.
We decided to purchase the pocket version of Hive which had both the Mosquito and Ladybug expansions. Although I didn’t get the game I originally set out to purchase, in hindsight Hive was a blessing in disguise. Not only did we get the smaller more compact travel size, with both expansions, but I ended up finding the game I originally wanted at another store for 25 bucks cheaper than what I would have paid for at our original stop. I’ll chalk it up to good karma for listening to my Wife.
My initial expectations of the game were a little stretched. First off, I wasn’t looking for this game which you might imagine could put a dampener on the mood of the new game experience. Secondly, it is very difficult for a game to beat chess in terms of a two player intense battle of wits and the packaging specifically mentioned that this was a nature chess game. In all honesty, I wasn’t all that excited to play and the only redeeming quality that pushed me over the edge into purchasing land was the Mensa Award. You listening John Yianni?
Getting home and opening the package I wasn’t expecting much. I fully expected the bag advertised as coming with the box to be of average quality with nothing spectacular about it. In fact, that was pretty much the experience when I first felt it. I thought to myself okay that’s about right. The game bag that comes with this set up isn’t of poor quality, but it’s one of those draw string dice bag types with the inside feeling a little slick like plastic and the outside is a form of polyester. Forgive me, but I like the old school feeling of leather or a really plush feeling canvas/corduroy for my bags; although I am aware that such an extra expense for such quality would drive the price of the game up which probably would have thrown me out of this market and back to my original purchase minded game. As I was pretty much expecting this bag, I can’t say that I was disappointed nor did I feel like it would not stand up to some moderate abuse. Although, I do think the bag was a little big for the twenty-six (26) pieces, I cannot fault the game for that.
The hexagon tiles are not spectacularly impressive in quality either. I would have liked to felt a little heavier ceramic tile but they are of good quality, feel nice between the fingers, and will see many many years, probably a lifetime, of use at our table and pretty much anyone else’s. I suspect that the odds of losing a game piece are much higher than a piece wearing out or breaking. Even if the paint on the pieces rubs off, the shape of the insect is embossed onto the piece so you would easily be able to paint it back on.
After having read the rules to the game I was a little more impressed and my excitement began to grow. After feeling the thick plastic coated paper making up the rules I felt that not only were the pieces made to last (albeit I’d like them to have been heavier), this folding rule sheet is also made to withstand a trip into your luggage, through the airport, past TSA security agents fumbling aimlessly through your bags, all for a transatlantic flight to Europe for vacation. They were also clear, concise, and provided many color examples of how each of the pieces move. Coming off a ten minute read I was ready to play and knew the theory of the game.
My wife and I’s first experience of playing was quite interesting. I am usually the deep thinker at our table and she’s nearly always staring at me in frustration. Her eyes usually state what is clearly on her mind; “Come on!” I can’t help it. You see, I grew up playing chess with my father from the age of 6 and rather than Connect Four, Battleship, and Checkers we played Quarto, Poker, and all sorts of adult card games like hearts. I was trained to be a deep thinker and this game really seemed to be a perfect arena to exercise this skill. Anyone else feel the same way?
In this first game with my wife, she was the one that was totally focused and my hats off to her in that she beat me. We were both surprised! Then our second, third, and fourth games came and ended up on her tally. It wasn’t until the fifth game that I really began to understand how she was playing that I was able to adapt my strategy accordingly and beat her. That was a good feeling.
As I write this we just came off our most recent two games in which we traded the wins. So far, our tally is 5 to 4 in her favor and I’m looking to setting this event with a best of 11.
The artwork is certainly there in a very basic element and the pieces really fit it with the whole simplicity of the game itself. The theme works for me as well and the fact that each piece moves in a special way, being at least believable with real life, adds to the fiction. The only thing where I feel we need to suspend our disbelief is the assortment of creatures, spider, worker ant, grass hopper, beetle, lady bug, mosquito, and queen bee are all working together. I cannot completely fault the designer for this and I won’t. The concept of cornering the queen bee is very chess like in nature and was adequately described as such on the box. What I especially enjoyed about this game is the fact that there is no board to be played on and that the possibilities of the playing experience is literally endless. Even strategically my wife and I have played no two games the same.
The depth of thought required is moderate to intense depending on your competition. I certainly enjoy games which not only exercise your mind and abilities to adapt quickly but also I place a large amount of value the experience of playing with another fighter like my wife; we both play to the very bitter end and don’t just simply give up. Hive allows for some truly creative maneuvering to get your queen out of a jam and your pieces back over to your opponent’s side of the board. This game also requires that you, like in chess, think as many moves ahead as possible in order to lay out your pans in their best set form.
Hive is marketed as a game for two players ages nine (9+) and up with the amazing fast play of about twenty minutes. I can certainly see younger players enjoying the game and would encourage parents to introduce to their children games of complex strategy during these crucial early years of development: appropriately of course.
This game is especially a good candidate to introduce to a younger child because it is a simple game to learn, only for two players, and provides the excellent benefit of short gameplay. In today’s fast paced world of the I-Bought Devices and dwindling strength in content on the tele, I believe that children would enjoy a quick challenge of the mind played between the time of finishing up their evening meal and the mad dash to the TV for the latest episode of American Idol. Twenty minutes might be a bit fast but I certainly don’t think it is outside the realm of possibilities for two players not as competitive as my family.
Overall, we especially enjoyed the fact that this game was quick to learn, quick to play, had a lot of replay value, and that the theme in general all seemed to fit together. The depth of strategy fit nicely with the mechanics and allowed for a wonderful intense 20-30 minute battle of the minds while still coming up for air and not feeling as if you just spent the entire day doing your IRS Form 1040, which is coming up all thanks to your local Federal Tax office.
What can we pull from this game besides simple entertainment and family time? It is no coincidence that chess is taught to anyone wanting to make a career out of the military and that nearly all major world leaders study the intricacies of the game and how others play the game. Hive also offers much of the same value in that by studying your opponent’s moves, and the way that you react to them, can give you deep insight into the character and personalities of those with whom you play. Although not as deep as chess, Hive certainly provides some serious opportunities to let your mental capacities to shine.
Consider how our opponent moves and uses each piece? Are they aggressive, defensive, or creative in these moves? Does your opponent attempt to pin your pieces down preventing you from doing anything or are their moves more subtle in nature always keeping you on your toes as to their real motives? How do you react to each surprise that didn’t go exactly as you thought? Did you panic and immediately try to move your queen or a piece to protect her? Were you more calm and paid more mind on your opponent’s queen and attempted to up the heat?
The way that we play any game can often be a good reflection of our own character and our ability to handle surprises, conflicts, and unpleasant situations in our everyday lives. Of course these questions could always be asked about ourselves in pretty much any game. I find that Hive tends to be an excellent game to observe this mental roller coaster because the game is so fast paced, can change directions in double quick time, and if you’re open to self-observation can provide a window into how we react on the fly.
Overall Scoring: 7
Scoring by Categories:
Quality of Construction: 5
Quality of Theme/Art: 5
Game Play Experience/Fun: 9
Depth of Strategy: 8
Replay Factor: 8
Value Quality Price