Saturday, March 03, 2007

game night in cambridge!

tetrapolis: the spatial reasoning game
(Here I thought I was just going to be hanging out and drinking some wine with friends. I didn't realize I was going to crush a world record as well.)

So, several of the fellows in my program convened to, among other things, play this board game one of us (Damon) had invented. He currently calls the game "Tetrapolis", which literally means "four-part city", although we mostly liked its earlier name of "Tesselation", which literally means laying little colored tiles of different shapes down on a surface. The game involves laying little colored tiles of different shapes down on a surface. It's sort of a visual Scrabble for people who are good at thinking spatially and not good at spelling. The game is actually really simple and clever, although the rules sheet has a couple sentences like "In this sense, the game board is torosoidal" that might need to be edited by someone less mathematically-inclined than Damon before he starts selling it as "Ages 10 and Up."

Damon has been having friends and family play the game but is still tinkering a bit with the rules. The above picture was taken to commemorate the fact that, on the first turn, my partner Kathleen and I laid down what was apparently the highest scoring Tetrapolis/Tesselation turn in the history of the game, and which Damon attempted to legislate out of existence as we were playing it. We also used all of our tiles (the equivalent of a "bingo" in Scrabble) on the second turn, establishing ourselves as the best known Tetrapolis players in the world, and causing everyone else to decide either to leave or steer the party toward playing Taboo instead.


carly said...

I would be awful at that game. I love board games, but lack visual-spatial intelligence. At least thats what a recent IQ test tells me. I had difficulty with the easiest block pattern.

I kick ass at remembering digits and letters, though.

Ang said...

I would suck, too. Remember that section on the Iowa Basic Skills tests - those tests we took in grade school - where they folded up a piece of paper, punched a hole in it, and then unfolded it, and you had to pick which hole pattern was correct? I think I guessed on the whole section.

Jerry said...

So what are the rules? I'm dyin here.