Friday, March 12, 2010
The 70 thick, cardboard tiles are matched edge to edge. Some edges are all one color. Many more are two colors. Each tile is worth a certain number of points (indicated by dots in the center of the tile). Players get points, not for the tile they place, but for the tiles they connect to.
Dizios can be played by 1-4 players, of a recommended age of 6 or older. There's very little strategy involved, so the game is easily accessible to younger children.
To play with more than one player, the special "starter tile" is placed in the center of the table. The rest of the tiles are placed face down, mixed, and then set aside or built into draw piles. Each player selects 4 tiles. For the rest of the game, players take turns, matching a tile on to the expanding grid, if possible; taking score (by counting the dots that appear on the adjacent tiles), and then picking a new tile from the face-down tiles. If no match is possible, the player must forfeit his turn.
The score pad is designed so any player who can count can keep score.
As a solitaire, Dizios offers a surprising variety of challenges. You can try to make a "vortex" (an array of connected tiles) of all one color, you can try for a vortex that is 8x8, 7x10, 5x14. Or, you can arrange try to arrange the tiles so they create the highest possible score. The solitaire versions greatly extend the fun of the game, and could easily lead a moderately creative player to develop more interesting variations of the competitive game.
Dizios is an easy game to learn. The visual challenge is easy to understand, intriguing enough to entice a 6-year-old, attractive and complex to engage the full attention of adults.
It is like dominoes only insofar as there are tiles that get matched - which makes the game that much easier to understand. But it is a very different game. Unique. Visually pleasing. Well made. Only lightly competitive. Intriguing (especially the solitaire versions) enough for serious adult contemplation. Inviting enough to engage the whole family. You can play in teams. You can play by yourself. You can make up your own challenge. Fun. Major FUN.