Simple abstract tile laying games are one of our favorites because they are easy to understand for new players and have some strategy for seasoned ones. Ingenious is one of those games we bring out when we want something a little different from our other favorite tile laying game--Qwirkle. In Ingenious, everyone has a hand of double hex tiles with two colors on them (they are also unique shapes to be color blind friendly) to play to rack up points. The gameplay is simple, but the strategy is what makes Ingenious fun.
When you play a tile, each direction branching out gets you points depending on how long that branch matches the color from the tile. If you put your tile into a group of the same color you can get a ton of points from all directions! But make sure not to focus too much on any one color. At the end of the game your score is the color that you scored the least points in (if you max them all you instantly win). So while some moves might make you a ton of points you need to be sure not to get shut out from a color by your opponents when you aren’t looking. Often once someone has gotten more points than anyone else in a color they might try to close off any point scoring possibilities for that color to make sure that they keep the lead.
Ingenious winds up being a rather simple game that can get quite cutthroat if the group wants it to be and/or it can be quite relaxing as the players just try to get the best score they can at a relaxing pace. If you enjoy thinky abstract games or if you enjoyed Qwirkle, then you should give Ingenious a try!