Playtime: 15 – 20 minutes
Designer: John Yianni
Publisher – Gen42
Sum it up: Defend your Queen Bee whilst trying to capture your opponents, in this ‘play it anywhere’ abstract game.
Break it Down: There’s this game you might have heard of, it’s called Chess, you know the one? Well, I’m going to let you in on a not-so-secret secret, Hive Pocket is like it’s fun younger sibling.
In Hive Pocket (a game that will most likely not fit in your pocket) and it’s heftier alternative ‘Hive’, players each take control of a selection of insects including Spiders, Soldier Ant, Beatles and Grasshoppers; as they battle for dominance of some peculiar joint society which could probably only have existed in Pixar’s ‘A Bug’s Life’. Each army’s aim: to fully encircle and thereby capture the opponent’s Queen Bee.
Each of the above insects has its own movement style, the Soldier Ants scurry quickly around the hive doing the majority of the grunt work, whilst Beatles slowly and methodically climb atop other insects holding them in place.
Hive Pocket is perfectly summed up by that age-old saying ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ It’s the kind of game you can come back to over and over again, and with the optional expansion insects which include Ladybugs and Mosquitoes (both of these are now included in the base copy of Hive Pocket) there’s always the option to try new things!
Probably the greatest aspect of Hive Pocket however is how robust and portable it is. Hive Pocket is one of a very limited number of games I would honestly feel comfortable throwing in my backpack and taking anywhere. The thick plastic pieces are made to take a tumble without worry, while the lack of a board makes the game so painless to set up you’ll be playing before you realize you even suggested having a game.
By Alan Campbell (Twitter @MudManCampbell )