The Game of Gale is an implementation by Douglas Sartori of mathematician David Gale’s Bridg-It boardgame. A simple game, it will perhaps be too simple for some. However, fans of quick abstract games like noughts-and-crosses will enjoy the rapid blocking gameplay; and it’s a good title for younger gamers too.
The Game of Gale is a simple strategy game for two players, each of whom is trying to lay pieces to connect one side of the board to the other, or ‘close a circuit’, as the game refers to it.
The board is designed as a grid, with colored nodes placed at points across it. Players take it in turns to connect two adjacent nodes of their own color: with the orange player trying to connect the top and bottom of the board; and the blue player aiming to do the same from left to right.
Players may place their pieces either horizontally or vertically, choosing to try and make their own connection; or block their opponent’s. A blocked path forces the player to rethink their tactics; or to resort to trying to make a more convoluted connection than planned.
There’s a slight advantage given to the player who goes first, as – after the first piece is laid – gameplay revolves around blocking the opposing player’s path. This isn’t enough to make the game unbalanced, however; and either player has a good chance of making their designated connection and winning the game.
The Game of Gale has little in the way of bells and whistles. Graphics and music are early 80s retro; and although the option to play against another human or the computer is present, there are no variable difficulty settins. In fact, the AI proves to be relatively easy to beat, making The Game of Gale best when played against another real person.
As a free (ad-supported) title, you’re not taking a risk by downloading The Game of Gale. Although it’s unlikely to be a game you spend a great deal of time with, it can be a good introduction for youngsters to abstract gaming, before moving on to the more advanced abstract titles like Blokus.
Score: 5/10The Game of Gale,