For 1-4 Players (best with 2 players)
Overall Rank: 255
Abstract Rank: 9
Recommended Age: 10+
Playing Time: 45 Minutes
Category: Abstract Strategy
Mechanisms: Hand Management, Partnerships, Pattern Building, Tile Placement
In Ingenious, a.k.a. Einfach Genial, players take turns placing colored domino-style tiles on a game board, scoring for each line of colored symbols that they enlarge. The trick, however, is that a player's score is equal to her worst-scoring color, not her best, so she needs to score for all colors instead of specializing in only one or two.
In more detail, the game includes 120 domino-style tiles, each consisting of two conjoined hexes; each hex has one of six colors in it, with most tiles having different-colored hexes. Each player has a rack with six tiles on it, and on a turn a player places one tile from her rack onto two hexes of the game board. For each hex on this tile, she scores one point in that color for each hex of the same color that lies adjacent to it and each hex in a straight line from it. If a player brings the score of a color to 18, she immediately takes another turn. At the end of her turn, she refills her rack to six tiles. (Before refilling her rack, if she has no tiles on it that contain hexes in her lowest-scoring color, she can discard all of her tiles, then draw six new tiles from the bag.)
When no more tiles can be placed on the game board or when one player scores 18 in each color, the game ends. Players then compare their lowest scores, and whoever has the highest low score wins.
Ingenious includes rules for solitaire and team play; in the latter case, two teams of two play, with each player not being able to see his partner's tiles and teams keeping a combined score that maxes out at 36 instead of 18.