Analog Gaming meets Digital Fabrication

Analog Gaming meets Digital Fabrication

While I have always been fascinated by puzzles and boardgames, the commercial cardboard and plastic versions do not hold as much appeal as wood (or plywood, in this case)

Over the years, I have replicated several puzzles in plywood for their warm, classic appeal (and just to see if I could, even more than to play them.)

There is the classroom favourite X-and-0, which I have later learned is a subset of the Nine-Men’s-Morris kind of games.

Then there is the mathematical Pentomino puzzle which I first encountered in the Arthur C Clarke novel, Imperial Earth. Twelve shapes made of 5 squares each - Pentominoes - fit together in a few very unique configurations. The version here is a 6x10 configuration, though the others can be tried outside the frame. A magnetic lock keeps the whole thing together when not being puzzled out.

Blockus is a relatively new game, using a wide range of polyminoes - from single square monominoes, the better known 2-square dominoes, all the way to pento- and hexominoes.

I created a collapsible version that uses magnets to align itself, since the board otherwise is quite large. The coloured pieces are cut from acrylic.

Pentago is another actual game being manufactured, but I had a DIY bug, plus the original is plastic. It’s a rotating Brainvita-meets-Checkers-meets-X&0 strategy game that takes a bit to master !

The fun part was to figure out the sliding+rotating mechanism and how to replicate it in the layered lasercut construction. I used brass screws to go with the overall look.

Next up, I might try to recreate the original Moksha Patam - Snakes and Ladders - but I am not that big a fan of moral lessons. Let’s see.