Pünct

A review of Pünct in Finnish. After trying Pünct in Essen and knowing I probably won’t play again, I thought I’d write a review since my opinion is already well-formed.

Pünct is a great addition to the Project GIPF line. It extends the set to connection games, a fairly important subgenre of abstract two-player games. Kris Burm’s take on connection games is, once again, interesting and novel.

Unfortunately I have such a deep dislike towards connection games that even if Pünct is best in it’s breed, I still can’t find myself enjoying it a lot. Sure, I’ll play if someone wants to, but I would definitely not buy a copy or suggest the game myself. However, I still think it’s a pretty good game, just not for me.

So, what Pünct does? The board is a hexagon; the goal is to connect two opposing sides with a chain of pieces. Pieces are formed of three points and are either straight, v-shaped or triangular. One of the points is marked and called a Pünct — that’s the centerpoint.

In addition to placing pieces on the board, they can be moved and rotated. They rotate around the Pünct and move in straight lines. Piece can land anywhere, where it’s Pünct is on free space or on one’s own piece. You can pile the pieces up and cut opponent’s chains that way.

There’s definitely a lot going on. Development of pieces on the board is a must, because running out of pieces to move can be fatal. I’m quite sure this is going to be another game with a good level of difficulty: easy to grasp, but hard to really figure out.

I applaud Kris Burm. Even if I don’t find all of his games brilliant (Zèrtz, Dvonn and Yinsh are, Tamsk, Gipf and Pünct aren’t), the series as a whole is a masterpiece of modern abstract game design. Well done, well done — and that’s without his work outside Project Gipf!

Oh, by the way: check out online Yinsh and online Pünct at the Biskai site.

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2 thoughts on “Pünct”

  1. It’s a little hard to argue against something like “I don’t like connection games, but I think you may be missing out by dismissing Punct (excuse the lack of umlaut) on that basis. I haven’t played the architypical connection games Hex or Twixt, but based on what I know of them, there is a lot more going on in Punct, and it is extremely interesting. Punct is an extremely deep game, but it takes a couple of plays before it starts to sink in.
    And I’ll also recommend biskai.de. The interfaces are the best I’ve seen for web-based play, making nice use of Javascript and clean, elegant graphics. The transition from visualizing YINSH on BSW to visualizing it on biskai has been a bit hard on me, but I still like the web interface.

  2. I agree that Pünct is more than Twixt or Hex and I do like it better than those games. However, I thought the gameplay had still many of the elements in connection games that I don’t like.
    I won’t say I’ll never play Pünct again, but it definitely isn’t high on my lists. However, I do realise it’s quite a good game and I do recommend that fans of abstract games check it out, it’s certainly worth it like the other GIPF games.

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