By Joseph Kisenwether
Turning Points is an abstract game for 2-6 players. It was originally designed as an entry in the Summer 2004 Icehouse Game Design Competition. It has been dusted off and lightly updated for Daniel Solis’ Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge.
What You Need:
2-6 players (though it is best with 2 or 4)
The size and shape of the board can vary based on the length of the game you want to play and the number of players involved. Square boards are recommended for 2 or 4 players, hexagonal boards (tiled with hexes) for 3, 5, and 6. An 8x8 square board makes for a fun 2 player game that plays in about 30 minutes. But even a board as small as 2x2 can be enjoyable – it’s about as complex at that size as Tic-Tac-Toe.
Enough “pointed” objects to fill the board
The objects can be anything which can be laid out in a way which indicates a direction. Stone Age hunters might have played with a board scratched in the dirt and a pouch full of arrowheads or auger shells. Modern players might use golf tees, or coins (paying attention to which way the portrait on the front is facing), or my favorite, a set of cheap poker chips with an arrow drawn on each one.
What you do:
Players choose one side of the board, usually the one closest to where they are sitting. Starting with an empty board, players take turns placing pieces. Pieces may be placed anywhere on the board but must be oriented to clearly point in the direction of one of the sides, though not necessarily a side which belongs to any particular player.
If a piece just played is pointing to an adjacent space that already contains a piece, then that piece is rotated one notch clockwise (90 degrees on a square board or 60 degrees on a hex board). If the piece that was just rotated is now pointed at another piece, then it also get rotated one notch clockwise, and so on. The process continues until the rotated piece points either to an empty space or off the edge or the board.
The game ends when the board is full. Players then each score one point for each piece that is pointed toward their side of the board. Highest score wins.
Special thanks to Geoff Hanna and Zoe Miller for their help with playtesting and encouragement to enter, and to Tom Mason for the playable demo. Be sure to check out the other awesome games he’s developed at http://www.gabob.com/