Hive is a two player strategy game, combining beautiful components, easy-to-learn rules and a great theme into a quick playing yet deeply thoughtful experience.
In Hive, each player has a ‘hand’ of identical high-quality Bakelite tiles with stylized outlines of insects on them. During their turn a player has the choice of either playing a tile from their hand, or moving one of their tiles on the board (Hive is played on any surface – no official playing board is needed). The goal of the game is to surround your opponents Queen Bee.
Each insect type (Ant, Beetle, Spider, Grasshopper, Spider and Queen Bee) has a distinct movement pattern/rule. The Queen moves one space in any direction, the Spider has to move three spaces, the Grasshopper jumps over any number of other tiles in a straight line, the Beetle moves as the queen, but can also climb on top of another tile, and finally the Ant can move any number of spaces around the perimeter of the hive.
In a nutshell, that is the entirety of the game. The elegant rules lend itself to a game which can be played strategically in different levels. As players develop experience, the game changes as they realize a purely offensive or defensive stance is usually not effective – as you attack your opponent, he is simultaneously attacking you. This balance makes each move an important decision – do you protect your queen, or attack your opponent? Should you play a piece from your hand to clutter the board, or try an efficient targeted attack?
I love this game. It combines some of the basic strategies of a more complex game like Chess with simpler game play, high quality components and easy-to-grasp rules.