Today on Tabletop Addicts I have a treat. My brother and I spent an entire evening playing a final prototype of Intelle. In the interest of transparency this copy was provided for review by the designer David Abelson. The pictures contained here are from the BGG page for the game.
Intelle is an upcoming Kickstarter project from David Abelson. It is an abstract strategy title for two players. Each player takes the role of a hacker. One is a white hat working to protect the corporate network and the other is a black hat whose trying to infiltrate the system. The game can be set up and played in about fifteen minutes. You will take turns playing a cube on a colored symbol trying to control the seven hexagons. You can accomplish this by controlling three in a row or three spaces in the shape of a triangle. Black plays first every time. This gives you five possible routes to score each hexagon. The winner is the first player to control three adjacent hexagons. The first player will select a symbol on the outer six hexagons and place a cube. As you can see below each hex is assigned a colored symbol on the outer edge. So if white plays a cube on purple the black player would then be allowed to play a cube on any colored symbol in the purple hex. This continues until one of you wins or there are no winning moves available. You mark each hex you control with a pawn of your color.
Now on to what I thought about the game. We enjoyed it a lot more than I thought we would. The presentation is clean and easily understood. The theme, while not a necessary element to enjoy the game, certainly fits the gameplay. The game would not suffer for lack of a theme or a different one but I do believe the theme that was chosen for the game is appropriate and heightened my enjoyment. Now on to the most important part of any game. Is it fun? I am happy to report that my brother and I smiled the whole time as we tried to out play one another. My brother made a really smart move by eliminating my movement options on half the hexagons. It was brilliant as he forced me to play to his strategy and almost caused me to win the game for him. It is moments like those where this game truly shines. I find the game to be versatile and playable in many situations. I do not see calling up a friend and asking them over to play this for several hours. That is not what this game was designed to do though. It works well as a filler during game night, and my co-workers really liked playing it over lunch. I know longevity is often cause for concern on game purchases. I am happy to report that the clever mechanics and design alleviate a lot of the memorized strategy issues that chess and other abstracts can suffer from.
Now that I’ve gushed about how much fun I had. I suppose I should fill you in on the negatives. The good news is that I couldn’t really find any. If you are the type that must have a winner instead of a stalemate, you might find issue. That did not bother me. Some may find the game too easy or possibly even simple. My brother suggested adding timed turns to alleviate that. We have not tried that yet but it works for chess so I imagine it would have a similar effect here.
I certainly enjoyed my time with this game and look forward to playing it again soon. My brother has already decided he needs his own copy for while he is off traveling Europe. That says a lot because he is throwing most of his stuff into storage. Thus I can happily recommend this as a 9. It makes a great filler and an enjoyable fun game in a small package.
If your interested in playing this game yourself it will launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday the 10th of October. The game will be $19 dollars.