Spreading the love of board games one meeple at a time
This is a great game to play with just about anyone, especially if you have some younger cousins or family friends you need to entertain for a while. It is simple in the sense that all you have to do is stack rocks on top of each other, and what kid doesn’t like doing that?
Rukshuk is a dexterity and speed game that can take no time at all to learn and just as little time to play. It can be played with 1 to 5 players and takes about 10-30 minutes to play.
In Rukshuk, players build rock formations with a random assortment of rocks varying in difficulty, uniformity, and stackability. The rocks are colour coded, representing the difficulty in using the rock as well as the amount of points you get when using it in a formation. The rocks that players randomly select each round and the ones they choose to use can really make this game pretty challenging in the 60 seconds players have to complete their formation.
The simple white rocks are a little easier to stack on top of each other while the yellow rocks are very bumpy, deformed, and irregularly shaped, making it a really tough choice to stack on top of. The tougher the rock the more points you accumulate, so no guts no glory!
The rock formations have bonuses for trying to place certain rocks in certain spots. If you follow the diagram this way it can make it a lot harder to complete, but will also result in more points.
I am rarely able to fully complete the diagram. I find I can only get it so high before I decide I can’t go any further, or complete the formation only to have it topple over on me, or I just plain run out of time.
Although the object of the game is to get the most point and beat out your opponents I find it is more about competing against myself. I am always trying to see if I can complete the rock formation, or use the more difficult stones, or just aim for a personal best in terms of point compared to last time I played or the last formation I did. I find you are always cheering for each other when someone completes a formation or uses exceptionally tough rocks to do it.
The rock formations in Rukshuk are named after real world rock formations, which adds an interesting depth to the game. I learned this from a friend studying geology and she said after playing the game she wanted to pick it up for her and her classmates to play. Sounds like a fun way to learn.
Overall this is a great game for its affordability, speed of play, and entertainment value, and I suppose, to some degree, its educational value :). It was the winner of several 2007 game awards for a reason, and is a great game to add to your collection, especially if you prefer more hands on or less competitive games.