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Monday, July 31, 2017

Char (1993)

Char (1993)

Ratings

6.95 out of 10 with 10 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked
Abstract Game Rank: Not Ranked

Description

Char is a three dimensional alignment game similar to the many flavors of 3D tic-tac-toe that have appeared over the years. Its rules and production values raise it above the level of these titles, however.

Rules: The play space is a 4x4x4 volume. Players alternate placing black and white pieces into the volume; the goal is to create a row of four like-colored pieces either orthogonally or diagonally within any plane of the space. What makes the game unique is the pieces: There are "whole" pieces shaped like solid disks, and "half" pieces that are either rings or nubs that fit into the ring's center. Discs count as either other type; a valid row contains either rings and/or disks OR nubs and/or disks. It is allowed to place, for instance, your nub into an opponent's ring (quiet, you!). Therefore, potential lines can intersect one another. Furthermore, the pieces must be played in rotation, i.e. white disk, black disk, then white ring, black ring, then white nub, black nub; then again from the top.

Production: the board is a very nicely designed laser-cut acrylic affair, with two supports that slot into one another, and etched levels that rest on the arms of the supports. The pieces are molded of black and white plastic. Molded clear trays are provided to keep the pieces sorted in the proper playing order.

Also included is a patently ridiculous but highly amusing booklet about the game's "history" full of quotes from fictitious Zen masters and a bibliography of alleged texts about the game and its historical significance.

This was Games Magazine's "Best Abstract Strategy Game" for 1993 and Mensa Select for 1994.

  • Designer: Frank Bechter
  • Artist: Frank Bechter
  • Publisher: Bechter Productions
  • Year Published: 1993
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 8
  • Playing Time: 30
  • Language Dependence: No necessary in-game text
  • Honors: 1994 Mensa Select Winner
  • Subdomain: Abstract Games
  • Category: Abstract Strategy
  • Mechanic: Pattern Building
  • Family: 3D Games, Mensa Select
  • Alternate Names: Char

Reviews

By
Beautiful game, quality component build, arcane rulebook.

By
I want this game badly. If you have it and want to sell/trade it, message me!

6 out of 10
By
Same goal as in Qubic or Megallo, but the different types of pieces and their prescribed order of play lift this game well above those.

By
[b]Char[/b] [b]Edition:[/b] First (1993), Bechter Productions Inc., English. [b]Game condition:[/b] Excellent, looks unplayed. One mysterious "The Seventh Seal" inner game box unopened. [b]Box condition:[/b] Decent for a 20-year-old game. Box integrity fully intact. Whitening on box edges. Some discoloration in spots. Mensa Select label on cover has some spots worn away. From a nonsmoking household without pets [b]Shipping:[/b] U.S. only. Free to all 50 states.

8 out of 10
By
I could have a long and meaningful relationship with this game. When we first met I felt that we had known each other for years (4 in a row / tic-tac-toe heritage) but still had something to surprise me (the subtle assymetrical powers). Sophisticated (the turn order of pieces), challenging and elegant (appearance and rules) I look forward to our next encounter.

8 out of 10
By
Clever 3D tic-tac-toe valiant with asymmetric strategies for the players. Beautiful plumage too!

6.5 out of 10
By
Fascinating abstract game. Best described as 3D chess meets Connect 4.

10 out of 10
By
Games Magazine's "Best Abstract Strategy" game for 1993 and a "Mensa Game of the Year" for 1994.

6 out of 10
By
Beautiful, brain-burning alignment game.
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