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Puzzle Master
Things From Another World
by W. Nostheide Verlag GmbH (1986)
Player Count
2 to 4

Player Ages

Playing Time
30 minutes
  • Abstract Strategy
  • Designers
  • Söncke Schacht
  • Family
  • Spielbox
  • Components: 7 x 7 Grids
  • Rating: 5/10 from 1 users


    An abstract game for 2 or 4 players, played on a 7x7 grid, where players try to move their own playing pieces onto the start positions of the opposing player. First player to do so wins. A game can end prematurely when a player manages to capture all stones from the other player(s), or when all other players had to resign from the game because there was no legal move available in their turn.

    There are 16 stones in play. Each player owns 4 stones, and the remainder are neutral. In a 4 player game there is an added twist as each player shares 2 of the 4 stones with other players. One with the player on the left, the other with the one on the right.

    In the starting positions, all stones are isolated. Each turn a player can move a friendly or neutral stone the same way as the knight jumps in chess (two straight and one sideways in all directions). Initially, for as long as there are isolated pieces on the board, each piece has to jump to a space neighboring at least one other (a diagonal connection doesn't count). This way smaller and bigger groups will form, and this has to continue until all pieces form one single chained group. Once a group has been established, it is not allowed to break it up again, so after each jump there has to be a single chain present. It is also forbidden to move a neutral stone immediately after it has just been moved.

    As soon as there are no isolated stones or groups left, "owned" pieces can be captured by landing on them. Neutral pieces can never be taken. A player wins when all his remaining pieces have reached their target, so losing a stone or two might not be a bad tactic.

    A clever use of the knight's move, and the ability to capture pieces, coupled with the restriction to maintain a single group makes this far more than yet another Halma-variation.

    Publication history: this game appeared in Spielbox magazine (1/1986 Feb-Mar) as one of the earlier entrants in the "Spiel zum Herausnehmen/Game to Remove" series. It later showed up again on the 2002 Göttingen Spieleautorentreff, where game designers meet to showcase their self-published inventions, in a wooden version with colored film-spool-lids as playing pieces. As far as I can tell Söncke's Iuvo has only ever been published in Spielbox magazine and it also remains his only published game to date (2006).

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