Abaloneby Aethyna Dec 11, 2017 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews 9 rate Based on the board game of the same name, Abalone is a fun strategy game where players rely on their ability to predict their opponents’ move and to plan ahead in an attempt to knock up to 6 of the enemy marble pieces from the board. If you love playing Abalone in its physical form, you’ll definitely enjoy this game. Do give it a try! Play Now Similar Games Played
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Based on the board game of the same name, Abalone is a fun strategy game where players rely on their ability to predict their opponents’ move and to plan ahead in an attempt to knock up to 6 of the enemy marble pieces from the board. There are plenty of board configurations that you can start with or you can simply customize a board of your own. You can even play with other players via online multiplayer or with the friend next to you through the game’s Pass & Play system. If you love playing Abalone in its physical form, you’ll definitely enjoy this game. Do give it a try!
Abalone provides new players with an informative yet optional tutorial at the get-go. So, depending on whether you’ve played the game before, you can opt to go through the short tutorial or not. However, if you have no experience with the game, it is highly recommended that you simply sit through the tutorial rather than trying to figure the rules of the game yourself.
Generally, in this game, you’ll either be playing as the white or the black marbles, much like chess, but unlike chess or even checkers, you can move your pieces in whichever direction you like, be it vertically, horizontally or even diagonally, for 1 position as long as there the said spot is unoccupied.
Interestingly, if you have a chain of marbles together, you can actually move them all in a single turn, much like moving a stacked sequence of cards in Freecell or Spider Solitaire. This is very important to know because it might just save a bunch of your marbles from being ejected from the board. That said, there’s an exception to the rule, you cannot move 4 marbles that are in a chain at once – 3 is the maximum. You can also separate a single marble from a chain by moving the marble broadside.
Moving your marbles is really simple as well. You just need to swipe them using either your mouse (if you’re playing on PC) or your finger (or on your mobile device). A red arrow will appear right after you’ve made a move. This red arrow is your Undo button, just in case you wanted a do-over before passing the turn to your opponent.
Now, the goal of this game is to knock out up to 6 marble pieces (the official rule of Abalone, though you can customize the objective however you like) from the opposing side. However, in order to do so, you’ll need to have more marbles than they do in the row (called the “pushing line”) just so you can push your opponents’ marbles toward the edge of the board and hopefully out of the board to score a point.
At the end of the game, you can get some stats on how you did in the match, such as how many moves you took and how much points you scored. There’s even a really nice replay on the site where you can rewatch your and your opponent’s every move. If you enjoy analyzing your Abalone games, this is just the perfect feature for you.
Sounds easy enough? Well, you can start giving the actual game a try by choosing a game mode to dive into. You can play the game’s solo mode, which you’ll be pitted against an AI level of your own choice, or head over to Challenges to enjoy increasingly difficult mini Abalone matches. In some way, these challenges feel more like an extended tutorial where the game teaches you the various “tricks of the trade” a.k.a. strategies that you can then later implement when going up against an actual human opponent. I’d personally recommend starting with Challenges, especially if you’re new to the game.
In terms of multiplayer game modes, Abalone offers 2 different types – Pass & Play, and Network. Pass & Play is best played when you have a friend right beside you. After all, you’ll need to pass the PC or your mobile device to him or her when it’s their turn. Network, on the other hand, is where you can play against Abalone players from all around the world. Like most of Asmodee’s games, there’s a Karma system in place to penalize players who leave a game before a game ends. So, if you plan on setting up a Network game, you might want to choose players who have high karma and are unlikely to leave you hanging mid-match.
For players who want to fully customize their games, Abalone has a really nice game editor for you to tinker with. The options you get to customize are generally the same as setting up any other match, but in this mode, you can actually modify the starting board by placing the starting marbles (both black and white) whichever way you like. However, it is quite unfortunate that you can’t save or share your “board template” with others.
The community in Abalone isn’t exactly huge since the game itself is a pretty niche strategy game. Due to this, newer players might find themselves being matched with more experienced players in the game’s online multiplayer mode rather frequently. So, unless you are a pretty good player, you might want to avoid multiplayer at least until you have honed sufficient skill beating the AIs in the game.
Abalone doesn’t exactly have a lot of graphical to tout about mainly because the game opted for a minimalistic approach. It suits the game to some extent, but personally, I’d like something with a bit of flair. That said, the oriental-themed music in this game is superb. The drum part of the tune does make me feel like I’m about to go to war.
To sum this all up, Abalone is a really entertaining digital board game that can truly put your strategic skills to the test. It may not look like much, but I guarantee you, the game definitely puts up a challenge. It’s really nice as well that the game allows you to literally craft a match that you’d like to play, be it creating your own starting boards or switching on the timed mode to make the game a lot more fast-paced. Although the game might not be for everybody, it is perfect for fans of its physical board games as well as strategy game enthusiasts.