A to Z Gaming: Blokus 3D, aka Rumis

We had one more “Blokus” game on our shelf – Blokus 3D. It was originally published under the name Rumis (which is the version we have). Since it shows up in my Board Game Geek list under Blokus 3D, we decided to play it now, instead of trying to remember it when we got to the Rs.

Basic Info: Blokus 3D or Rumis
Players: 2-4
Time: 20 Minutes
Designer: Stefan Kögl
Artist: Stefan Kögl
Publisher:  Educational Insights (our copy)

 

In Blokus 3D, each player has 3-dimensional building “stones” in a variety of shapes. These blocks are played on a board one at a time with the goal of having the most of your color visible from the top view of the final construction at the end of the game.

There are several different boards to choose from, but all players build on the same board, once one has been chosen for the game. The board defines the “footprint” of where the stones can be played and also gives a limit to how high the structure can be built.

The first player starts by playing one of their pieces anywhere on the board. To finish the first round, each subsequent player must lay a piece so it touches at least one side of a previously-played piece. After the first round, each player’s next stone must touch at least one face of their own color. The stones can’t be placed to make the structure higher than indicated on the game board, and they can’t be placed in such a way that will create holes or tunnels underneath them.

The game-end scoring is based on how many of each color is visible when looking down at the finished structure. The player with the most visible “squares” of their color wins.

In the 2-player version of Blokus 3D, each player plays two colors, alternating between them and following the placement rules for each color. Only the highest-scoring color counts for game-end scoring.

We are fairly sure we had never taken this game out of the box, but we’ve had it for a long time. It’s a shame, too, because I love “packing” games – this is like Tetris, but in 3-dimensions.

The first game we played, we missed (or maybe I ignored) the height rules for individual parts of the board, observing only the overall height of the board. However, the height restrictions on the individual parts of the board not only give the final structure a resemblance to, say, a pyramid or steps, but they are important strategy-wise! This is because once you’ve placed your stone so that it meets the max-height of a certain section, you know you are going to get points for it. This gives you something to work toward.  In that first game, we just kept piling stones on top of stones, which was a huge disadvantage for the first player.

Our second game, where we observed those height restrictions went much better, and seemed way more strategic. The end result may not be as pretty as Blokus or Blokus Duo, but you do end up with a cool structure, if you’ve followed the rules.

Sadly, the 2-player variant that has each player taking on the role of two players is one of my least favorite adaptations of games designed for more players – possibly only second to a dummy player. On the other hand, have I mentioned that I love 3D packing??

How is it as a 2-player game?  Blokus 3D is okay as a 2-player game. I’m not a huge fan of the “play two players” mechanism for competitive 2-player versions of games. However, I enjoy the game enough that I might make us play this again even with this mechanism.

How about the art and component quality?  The components are good. There is a plastic board to hold the chosen game board in place and to allow players to turn the structure around to see all sides. The stones themselves are plastic pieces with a slight marbling that is pretty – not as pretty as the translucent Blokus pieces, but still nice to look at.

Will this stay in my collection? Yes – I want to give it several more plays before making any decisions. It scratches the Tetris and 3D packing itch, but I haven’t played enough to see if it remains interesting after several plays.

 

 

 

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