B*lokus Duo* is a
strictly two-player version of the two- to four-player
*Blokus*. You can read my review of the original here but the short version of that
review is this: *Blokus* is a great game but it has some
problems due to its multi-player nature. Success can depend at
least as much on your opponents ignoring you as on your own
ability. To avoid this problem I recommended playing it with
only two players. Now there's an even better solution: play
*Blokus Duo* instead.

For the most part the game remains the same: each player has a collection of 21 tiles. (For the mathematically inclined, these are the 21 "polyominoes" of size one to five.) On your turn, you place one of your tiles on the board so that it touches any of your previously laid tiles at the corners only. The object of the game is to place more tiles than your opponent.

There are only two minor differences: *Blokus Duo*'s
board is a 14x14 grid (the original was 20x20) and players
no longer start in the corners but rather on one of two
marked spaces near the center.

*Blokus Duo* is physically smaller than the
original; the board is about 20cm x 20cm. It's small enough
that you could consider this a "travel" version, but it's
not so small that the pieces are hard to handle (a big
concern for this ham-fisted reviewer).

Since the two games are so similar, my impression of
*Blokus Duo* is likewise similar—this is an excellent
game. In fact, because it eliminates the multi-player
problems of the original, I find that it is practically
flawless. There is a concern that it may favour the
first player but so far this has not been an issue. We'll
see how it holds up after many more plays.

Being two-player only, *Blokus Duo* invites a more
direct comparison to other similar games such as
*Cathedral* and Parker Brothers' *Domain*. The
"touching only at the corners" rule seems to
create more interesting plays than those games and I suspect
this is the reason I like *Blokus Duo* as much as I do.
Part of this is the fact that impeding your opponent is a
much trickier task since your "wall" is so porous.
This makes it much more satisfying when you are able to
effectively block him or her. All in all, these satisfying
plays make for a very enjoyable experience and I highly
recommend *Blokus Duo*.

*- Greg Aleknevicus*