A new board game puts a multiplayer, board game spin on number puzzle sudoku.
Hiroba borrows the classic brainteaser’s nine-by-nine grid, in which players must place digits from 1 to 9 without repeating any numbers in the same row or column.
The board game keeps that central rule, but designers Johan Benvenuto, Alexandre Droit and Bertrand Roux introduce the added factor of ‘gardens’, which group sets of squares together in Tetris-like shapes across multiple rows and columns.
Two to four players assign numbers to squares by placing numbered pebbles from their own pool. The pebbles have a number on each side, with the total always adding up to 10 - for example, 6 and 4 - providing some flexibility in where players can place their tokens. Players can also block spots with stones, stopping their opponents from claiming a square.
Players score points by having the highest combined total on pebbles in a garden - scoring a point for each square in the garden, making bigger areas more valuable - or by having the lowest total on each of the nine three-by-three tiles that make up the board, claiming a bonus koi fish tile that multiplies the score of a neighbouring garden.
Hiroba was released last month in the UK and France, ahead of an appearance at this year’s Essen Spiel board game convention in Germany. The game costs £22 in the UK.