A to Z Gaming: Continuo

We created strings of colors in Continuo, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Basic Info: Continuo
Players: 1-5
Time: 20 Minutes
Designer: Maureen Hiron
Artist: N/A
Publisher: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.



Continuo is a tile-laying game where players try to match up strings of colored squares on their tile with colors already played to the tableau. Each turn, players score the total of the squares in each string of colors that span, at minimum, the newly-placed tile and a tile already on the board. Once all of the tiles are placed, the player with the most points wins.

Continuo consists solely of a stack of square tiles, each divided into 16 squares of 2-3 different colors. The game starts with three tiles (for 2 players – it’s different for different player counts) on the board, placed such that they would score the most points (more on that in a moment).

On their turn, players draw a tile and place it. Any colors that match between the newly-placed tile and those already in the tableau will score. The score is the number of squares in the “strings” of colors. And a color can score more than once, so that two strings of 4 red squares is more valuable than a single string of 5 red squares. In the above picture, Andrew scored 9 for the yellow string, 4 for the red string, 2 for the green string on the right, and 4 for the green string on the left, for a total of 19 on that turn.

Once the last tile is laid, the scores are tallied and the player with the most points wins.

Neither of us can remember how or when we picked up this game. It seems to be another in the string of abstract games that we added to our collection early in our gaming days.

I appreciated how difficult it was to build up strings that were much longer than 5 or 6 colors. We managed it, but those would then be almost immediately cut off. The tiles were clearly designed to make those long string challenging.

While I found some enjoyment in the challenge of trying to find just the right place for the tile that I chose, there just wasn’t enough to the game. With only one tile to chose from, there was little strategy beyond finding the best place for that single tile. There is also a lot of down-time because you only pick your tile on your turn. Pulling the tile in advance might offer a little advantage, but you would still need to consider what the other person played, so I’m not sure it would save a lot of time.

Overall, I just didn’t find it that interesting.

How is it as a 2-player game?  Continuo is fine as a 2-player game. I suppose that at higher player counts the board will change even more between turns, adding some additional planning time for each players. So, perhaps, 2-players is a good number.

How about the art and component quality? The tiles are decent – not a thick, thick cardboard, but sturdy enough. The art is simply squares on tiles, so there’s not much there. We did find our selves wishing that there was a black outline on the outside of each tile – there were outlines for the “inside” squares on each tile, and without the outside lines, the tiles tended to blend together a little too much.

Will this stay in my collection? No, I’m just not that interested in this game, and there are many more in my collection that I’d rather play.



One Reply to “A to Z Gaming: Continuo”

  1. The quote from Omar Sharif was surprising, so I went searching. It turns out Sharif was a skilled contract bridge player, playing for Egypt at the world championships in the late 1960s. He also endorsed a lot of stuff, like a computer game called Omar Sharif Bridge that’s still being updated, a game called 2-5-8, and a backgammon set. Was he a serious gamer, just willing to endorse anything, or maybe both?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *