Calvin’s Commentaries: Masker

Recently we have delved into a lot of games from designer Philippe Proux and publisher Ludarden.

When you play a range of games, one will always emerge as your favourite, another will occupy the last spot on the list.

For our little group, Masker is the one that occupies the last spot.

The game is another nice-looking, all wood creation, with simple enough rule and quick play, but compared to others from the designer, such as Tasso and Totem, this one just doesn’t have the overall impact on the table.

Masker is an abstract game consisting of 36 wooden crosses and five colour markers.

All crosses are placed at random forming a 6 by 6 grid. Each player or team secretly gets a colour marker.

On your turn, remove a cross touching the non-coloured cross (natural wood) and move the latter to that place. End your turn or repeat this up to two times. If the non-coloured cross is isolated, the next player is allowed to place it anywhere.

If all crosses of your colour are removed, you must declare it and you are out of the game. Last person standing wins.

As noted this one sort of filters to the bottom of the pile in terms of games played from this publisher, which isn’t to say it’s terrible, but it does seem to lack some of the excitement/interest of other games from this designer.

For me, this comes from the set-up, which while not taking long, just detracts from the game.

Also when you are left without a move, being isolated from the other pieces in play, the rule of how you can go anywhere seems a tad pasted on to the game, a bit of an inelegant solution to the problem as it developed.

This is a game that won’t see a lot of play in our group, there are just too many better options with the same core ‘feel’ from the same designer.

Check it out at

Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

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