- Designer: Lauge Luchau
- Publisher: Kosmos
- Plays 1–4
- Ages 8+
- Playing Time: 30 minutes
- Initial Release: 2014
- Elevator Pitch: An abstract game in which each player independently stacks spheres according to a rotating set of conditions.
- Roar Score: 4/5
I have a soft spot in my heart for abstract games. It doesn’t hurt that they’re my wife’s favorite genre, so I (usually) have a reliable opponent in the house. It therefore should come as no surprise that we have a sizable collection of abstract games . . . but we’re always looking for more.
Dimension is billed as a “spherical, stackable, fast-paced puzzle game,” and that’s a fairly accurate description. It’s also a fantastically fun game that gets the hamsters running upstairs. It plays with 1–4 people (a solo option is always an excellent selling point), and everyone plays at the same time, stacking their colored spheres in three dimensions and following the conditions established by a series of task cards.
Each player begins the game (and each round) with a tray, loaded of with 15 spheres (3 each of 5 colors). Six task cards are then turned over. These are the conditions (or rules) that must be followed as you stack spheres.
For example, take a look at these example cards:
These task cards indicate that
- Green and orange sphere cannot touch.
- There must be 2 (and only 2) white spheres.
- Blue spheres cannot be underneath any other colors.
- Green and white spheres must touch.
- There must be 4 (and only 4) orange and blue spheres combined.
- There must be more orange spheres than black.
Every round has a different set of conditions, and players race against a timer to complete all of the objectives and earn victory points. Earn points for the number of spheres you place. Subtract points for incomplete tasks. Complete all six tasks and use all five colors, earn a bonus token. A complete game is played across six rounds (each with its own unique set of conditions).
The game is a great mind-bender that really makes you concentrate . . . but not too much. The fact that each round is so quick (about a minute) makes you focus intensely on making sure you don’t break any of the rules and finish in time. And I’ll be honest: sometimes you won’t be able to complete all six tasks. Tasks may not necessarily contradict each other, but all six together make 100% success extremely difficult.
The game is recommended for ages 8+, but I think that can safely be brought down to about 5 or 6 (depending on the kid, obviously). The rules are relatively simple and there’s no reading involved, but the quick multidimensional thinking and time pressure might prove to be a challenge for the youngest players. However, some minor tweaking of the rules (e.g., extending the time limit for each round) easily makes Dimension much more manageable for younger players.
If you’re a fan of abstract games, I highly recommend this one.
(Disclosure: I received a review copy of this game. All opinions remain my own.)