Glüx, with light your way as its under-title, is an abstract game from Queen Games. You have to light up several rooms on the board and make sure your colour of light shines the brightest. From that description you probably have no idea how the game is played, but let me explain and let me tell you that I was positively surprised by this game.
Like I said, Glüx is an abstract game. The board is a grid and there are nine areas, or rooms displayed on the board. This is what you fight for. Every player start in one corner of the board with one randomly drawn token on their home base. A token is double-sided with a couple of pips on every side, adding up to seven. So, six and one, four and three, and five and two. On your turn you place a token on the board and after that you draw a new token from your own bag.
You have to place a new token an x amount of spaces away from another one of your tokens, where x is the value of the token on the board you move from. You can only move in a straight line and if there are other tokens in your way, yours of from other players, you can not move that way. If you would end up on another token you must place it on top of it. However, if there are already two tokens in a spot, you cannot move there. You can never place a token on another player’s base.
At the end of the game you will count all pips per player in every room. If you have the most pips in a room, you get four points, if you are second best, you get two points. In this way you score all nine rooms and the player with the most points wins the game.
This game was a big surprise to me. It’s not that Queen Games is known for having a lot of fantastic abstract games in their collection. At least, I don’t see them as a company that would normally go for games like this. Glüx, however, is a very excellent one. The game is nice to look at to begin with; the colours are vibrant and when more pieces enter the board the game even becomes eye-catching in some way.
You start the game with one piece on the board, then two, then three, and so one. You start with only two possible moves and that expands over the game. Not infinitely of course, because you have the limits of the board and the board will get more crowded, which also limits your possibilities of movement.
This is also the cool thing about this game, what most fun about it, the fact that you have to play around with the space you get and have to create for yourself. Placing a six might sound awesome when you think about controlling an area, but it limits your movement significantly, because there are five spaces between that token and your goal for other player to put a token on, which disallows you from moving in that direction. A low value might not be beneficial in terms of area control, but is handy when you want to put many tokens in one single room, plus there’s a smaller chance that you get blocked.
So, every number is equally valuable when you look at the whole, just not in every situation.
There are many ways to play. You can play defensively, by covering many of your own tokens, making sure that no other player can ‘attack’ you. You can play more aggressively, by spreading around like crazy and covering up many tokens of other players. With fewer single tokens on the board, you have less option to move. With many single-height tokens on the board, you are very vulnerable for attacks by other players, plus the state of the board changes more quickly, because players can suddenly change a rooms allegiance, so to speak, in their favour.
You got to be alert constantly, looking at every possible move other players can take. When you miss something, another player can swoop in, cover up one of your tokens, take over a room and change the way you can move, in one single turn. That’s harsh. It can really mess up your plans. Glüx is played on the edge of a knife.
It’s not all strategy, there’s also a bit of luck involved. You sometimes really need to have a specific value, and you just keep drawing other values from the bag. However, I do think that the amount of luck and strategy are very well-balanced in Glüx. You know what’s in the bag, you know what you have placed, so you know what’s still to come.
In conclusion, I really recommend the game. Glüx is one of the most fun abstract game I played lately. Therefore it gets a good four thumbs up from me.