I love chunky abstract strategy games, those with nice big pieces that feel good when you are moving them aroud the board.
That was the first thing I noticed, and admired about Push Fight.
This game is not new, created in 2008 by designer Brett Picotte, but is not particularly well-known and that is something of a pitty.
In some respects the game reminds a bit of sumo wrestling, or perhaps more correctly a game of rugby in a phone booth (for those who remember what phone booths even are).
The goal is for a player to push one of their opponent’s game pieces off the board at either end.
Each team has five game pieces: three square (top) pieces and two round (top) pieces. All five pieces can move around the board by traveling on empty spaces (an empty space is one that doesn’t have a game piece on it). In addition to moving, the square pieces have the power to push one or more pieces one space.
The game plays fast.
“Players take turns moving their pieces into position for an attack, then using one of their square pieces to push one space. You can push pieces to a new space, or you can push one of them off the board to win the game. Move or push forward, backward or sideways (in either direction). No diagonal moves or pushes are allowed. A move can travel several spaces. A push is only one space,” details the rules.
One turn consists of two moves (maximum), then a push.
The move aspect creates a fair bit of in-game flexibility.
“Travel as far as you want on empty spaces as long as the spaces are connected (have sides that touch). Move all over the board if you like. You can move one or two pieces, or you can decide to not move any pieces during your turn,” notes the rules.
The push of course is the key aspect of the game.
“You must push one or more pieces with a square piece to complete your turn. You can push white and/or blue pieces in any direction (except diagonally). If several pieces are lined up in the direction you are pushing, and there are no empty spaces between them, you can push them all one space. You can even push one of your own pieces to complete your turn,” details the rules.
“After you push, put the red anchor game piece on the square piece that did the pushing. The anchored piece can’t be pushed during your opponent’s next turn. It is the only piece he or she can’t push. If it’s in a line of pieces, none of them can be pushed if it means pushing the anchored piece. Once the anchor is put on another game piece, the piece that was anchored can be pushed again. Players share one anchor.”
And that’s it to this quick beauty of a game.
“Trap your opponent so you can push one of their pieces off the board at either end. When one piece is off the board, the game is over. There are a lot of places at each end of the board where you can push them off. You can also win if your opponent surrenders because he or she is trapped and can’t get out.”
Push Fight is a game that has lots of replay allure and is simple, yet with strategy to explore. A definite gem. Check it out at www.pushfightgame.com
For a bonus game review head to yorktonthisweek.com where a review of the game Zeppelin! Attack has been posted this week