Calvin’s Commentaries: Lots to ‘attract’ attention with magnet game

When Pola (the) Magnetic Game arrived I was impressed just by the quality out of the box, but how does it play?

Well read on and we shall see.

But first a bit about the game in general.

At its heart, Pola is being touted by publisher Blaster Light as a whole constellation of games planned. The idea seems to me to have a system in which over time various games will be created – think the Shibumi set which is not a single game but many games.

With Pola, as it arrives it is X’s and O’s cubed, with players connecting cubes to create a 26-piece cube.

But, it gets more interesting by providing each player in this two-player game from designer Jakub Ziółkowski, with six special cubes which can be added into the game which change what scores in a game. The interest in this one lies very much in those ‘special’ dice, and they do offer some very interesting twists.

If you are wondering if Pola reminds you of anything else, well the cube in hand will take your mind at least superficially to a Rubik’s Cube.

Since the smaller player cubes connect via magnets you may also think it reminds a bit of designer George Smith’s 2016 released 3D Pawn.

Pola is a game that as presented is pretty simple to grasp, even when adding in the neat pieces, so that’s a good thing.

The magnet system is cool, but because the completed cube is hefty, you need to be careful it doesn’t fall apart – just be warned.

Also as a prototype, it’s unclear if the material it will be in production, but there is a chunk on one that has chipped off, either in transport, or after limited handling, so I would suggest some gentleness in use, avoiding the piece snapping together too harshly.

One thing I do wish was in the package would be a pull string bag, or a real box, just something to store and easily transport this one in, because Pola begs to be taken to the coffee shop or played over a brew.

Overall though, there is a draw to quirky and Pola is that.

There is also some curiosity to see what other rules might emerge for this one. Will they play with the basic set, or require buying more special cubes? Either way, it could add definite play value to Pola.

That’s where reviewing this one is a little difficult. Every new rule set for a game playable with the set will add value. Think 10 games and even if only two, or three are good it becomes more of a must-have because you get added play opportunities for a single purchase.

Still as is this one, December arrival, or not, is a contender for a top-five new game of 2023 as is. Lots of decisions, and the ‘special pieces’ really throw some cool wrinkles into gameplay.

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