Circular Reasoning Board Game Review
Circular Reasoning is exactly the sort of name I expect from a University Student Project. It summarises the game aptly with a little tongue in cheek philosophy. Tomer Braff and Edward Stevenson provide an abstract game with an incredibly simplistic design that can be set up in 1 minute and packed down just as easily.
Circular Reasoning from Break Games, a lovely abstract title.
Circular Reasoning Gameplay and Setup
Circular Reasoning plays 2-4 players and is comprised of a game board and 15 small wooden pieces. Thatâs it. You can pack the wooden pieces away in a small zip lock bag. The board is the most cumbersome thing and I suspect it will one day become a mat as part of a travel version of the game. To set up you will open up the game board that has three concentric circles. Each ring is divided into equal sections that become spaces player pieces move along. Three wooden gates are placed in a starting potion.
Each player will take three single coloured pieces, a square, a triangle, and a circle. Your goal is to get your three shape blocks from the outside circle to the inner circle. This will require moving around the circles and jumping through the gates to get into the lower levels. This is why the name is so clever by the way. In logic, circular reasoning is a form of argument where the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with. See what I mean? Typical university graduates.
Each piece is allowed a number of spaces they must move, a square can move four spaces, a triangle three and a circle two. Once you enter the board you trigger the gates. Gates will move in a clock wise direction at the end of each players turn, one space for each piece on that circle. This will mean that as more pieces enter, the quicker the gates move round the circle. You may not share space with a piece so pieces will jump any other pieces with no penalty to their movement. If you place your piece next to a gate no one else can travel through it.
There’s no doubt Circular Reasoning is a very classy thing.
This all adds depth and strategy to this very simple game. To be successful you must think several turns ahead. It is not a simple matter of just moving a piece. You need to try and work out where gates will be determined by pieces on the board and what players might bring into play. You can block gates using your pieces which is a useful strategy to provide cover for other pieces masking a run to the centre. Careful though, once you move a piece it will need to move the full extent it can go, and only in the direction you first moved off in. This means you cannot move a piece forward 2 and back 1 to get to a gate or block it. Instead you have to find a way to position your piece right where it needs to be to capture the gate. This will require a lot of forethought, sometimes many turns ahead.
- Game: Circular Reasoning
- Publisher: Breaking Games
- Number of Players: 2-4
- Age Group: 12+
- Time To Play: 20-45 minutes
Circular Reasoning is not a big game, it is not a hard game to learn or a tricky game to teach, yet it still won the Mensa Select Award, which is testament to the depth of game play possible. I found myself working really hard to keep all possible moves in my head and finding the optimal move to get in the best position. I have discussed my growing love of abstract games, how I love the simplicity and no story elements. Circular Reasoning is no exception and fits my desire for fun engaging play with depth of thinking. Just be warned regarding the time allocation. Two players will move very quickly and finish a game in about 15 minutes. Yet four players can see the game get messy rapidly and turns can bog down as players look for the best possible move. I really enjoyed this game and look forward to what else these designers might come up with next.
(It was also noted this i a big box for what amounts to quite a small game, the insert is set high in the box, so keep that in mind when you see it on store shelves).