Dimension Review

01 February 2016
Perfect your ball control with this head-scratching puzzle game

Thames & Kosmos | Puzzle | £39.99 | 1-4 players | 30 minutes | www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk

Remember the television show The Crystal Maze? The one were business folk in 1990s, who probably thought they were going on an outward bounds course in the Brecon Beacons, ended up dashing round a television set with Richard O’Brien hollering at them about the Crystal Dome (and no, we don’t mean his gleaming bald head). Well, in the show you had to choose whether to play a skill, physical, mental or mystery game… although most would normally end up with the accountant falling in some water. Dimension the board game – and yes, there has been a point to all this – manages to combine those different elements of the Crystal Maze into one thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game and there’s not a drop of water in sight.

Designed by architect Lauge Luchau you can certainly see how his career set the foundations (sorry) for Dimension, which is a game that’s all about skillful building while trying to stick to a particular plan. You start with a cardboard playing board with seven holes in the middle surrounded by 15 coloured balls (three green, three black, three blue, three orange and three white). These weighty spheres must then be piled into a pyramid with seven balls at the bottom, three in the middle and one at the top.

However, there’s catch because like the contestants on the Crystal Maze (yes, we’re carrying on plugging away with that) you’ve got to follow some set instructions and can’t just build whatever you want. Instead, six ‘task cards’ are drawn from the task card pile and placed in the centre. The task cards describe rules you must stick to when building the tower, e.g. two white balls must touch each other; you must use exactly one blue; no greens must be underneath another ball, etc.

Once the cards have been laid down, all the players have a minute to construct their pyramid, ensuring they all stick to the same instructions. For every ball used you get a point (for a maximum of 11 points) but any tasks you fail to complete take two points from your total. As such making your tower becomes a minute of sheer panic as you attempt to follow the tasks. “Right… so that blue can go there… but oh no, it can’t touch that green… ok, move the green and swap it for a white… but now I’ve got too many whites… get rid of the white, oh but the oranges can only go on top of it…. AAAARGH”. And then you’re locked inside the room… oh no, that’s Crystal Maze again.

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When you do complete all the tasks in the allotted time, there’s a certain sense of smug satisfaction, particularly if you do it before everyone else but there are times when you’ll be sitting there like Richard O’Brien with a smug look on your face, only to realise too late you’ve actually placed something in the wrong place. The winner is the person with the most points after six rounds.

Dimension is a quirky puzzle game that’s particularly suited for family game nights. The instructions are simple to pick up and play but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple game. Mastering the tasks is no easy feat and you can scale up the challenge by adding more tasks.

Buy your copy here.

This article originally appeared in issue 2 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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