Tabletop Tuesday: ‘COGZ’
I love Kickstarter’s gaming section. It’s created an amazing market for new board game developers and some of the best items on my shelf have come from crowd funding. The latest item to arrive at our doorstop comes from a developer in the wee city of Perth, Australia and is well worth your attention. Especially if your brain needs a workout.
This MENSA endorsed puzzler puts players in the shoes of an assistant working for a mad scientist. Sadly the scientists cogwheel based contraption is broken and you need to fix it before he returns. You begin by building a board out of random tiles, each depicting two parts of coloured cogs, and take three tiles for yourself. On your turn you swap a tile from your hand with one on the board with the intention of matching colours. Create a string of linked cog pieces of the same colour and you score points for each part.
Simple mechanics, yes, which makes it easy to play. Winning, on the other hand, is a bit more taxing. You only get points for the modifications made to the board so half a tile might be worthless. Any time a closed circuit is made, or a string of pieces connect to the edges of the board at both ends, it forms a mechanism and cannot be altered again. This means options for gaining points shrinks as the game progresses, requiring forward planning.
One of the smartest aspects of the game is the scoring mechanic. Each player has their own score track with four score tokens representing the four colours in the game. You score points with blue, you only move the blue token up the track. At the end of the game the only score that counts is the lowest on your track. You have to plan every move in the game to ensure that you balance the colours you score points with because one left trailing will nullify the entire match.
Presentation wise COGZ is fantastic. The steampunk cogwheel design is very cool, and the Kickstarter campaign helped add nice cloth bag to store the pieces, a very funky round tracker and a book of variant games. It’s bright and colourful enough to stand out.
If you want something a bit more cerebral in your games cabinet that is accessible to everyone this is worth a look. Check it out here.