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WHAT IS TANTRIX?
A simple game?

Tantrix is a visual-spacial strategy game and puzzle for 1 to 4 players. It was created in 1988 by former New Zealand backgammon champion Mike McManaway, while on a camping holiday in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

A full set of Tantrix consists of 56 hexagonal tiles made from a tactile vintage plastic with hand-painted links of red, green, blue and yellow. Each tile is unique, and with all tiles you can play the entire range of solitaire puzzles, the multiplayer strategy game and the fast-paced Tantrix Gobble.

It's never been easy to encapsulate the subtlety of the game in a few words, so instead, below is a translation of a review from a popular Danish newspaper which may help answer the question of "what Tantrix is".

Or you may want to look up Tantrix at Wikipedia.
Tantrix: En sand klassiker -

By Thomas Vigild

Published in Denmark's newspaper "POLITIKEN"

"Rating: 6 out of 6 ! A true classic "Difficult to master, easy to learn". This golden rule for a good game is the core of the brilliant strategy-game Tantrix, which is a lot easier to play than to explain.

When you see the swarm of pieces for the first time, you panic a little and at the same time you get curious. "You just add the pieces together to create a long track or a loop in your chosen colour", this writer was told already getting a smouldering feeling, that Tantrix would demonstrate his lack of intelligence in the most embarrassing way for all to see. When you see the cold rules of the game in writing it seems sophisticated - and bungled. Magic happens as soon as you play with the pieces and the rules are routine after ten minutes. The panic is replaced by a scarily fascinating lust for discovery and Tantrix unfolds as a game that appeals to a 7 year old child as well as a 77 year old grandma.

Tantrix is an abbreviation of tangled tracks and that is exactly the purpose of the game: to create the longest track or loop in your chosen colour. The worst obstacle is to fully understand the three restrictions. This causes a bit of fumbling in the beginning before you grasp how the profoundly logical rules work. But when you get it, you are hooked.

The genius of Tantrix is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The pieces are created for games of patience, jigsaw puzzles for children and difficult puzzles for adults. And because the Game Pack takes up very little room, it is easy to take to the holiday cottage or to the beach. Even small children try to make patterns with the colours thereby exercising logical thinking, sense of colour, general viewing and pattern recognition. You can even play Tantrix on the Internet and there are World Championships too.

Fun as a puzzle, challenging as a strategy game: Tantrix is because of its simplicity but enormous depth a timeless star in the sky of games. A clear winner of the test. Visually impressive, deeply strategic and with great variation for all ages."


Copyright 2014, Colour of Strategy Ltd, Pohara, New Zealand. All rights reserved.
Last update: November, 2014