Hive – Board Game for Anywhere

Photo of Hive Carbon
Hive Carbon

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Hive Carbon (paid link) is one of my favorite board game purchases. This game is smart, relatively quick, famously durable, and aesthetically pleasing. I have enjoyed Hive with people of all ages as well as with my kid. I’ve played Hive on the table at home, in coffee shops, and in restaurants while waiting for the food to arrive. I enjoy this game so much I have two versions. I have the pictured Hive Carbon and I also have a copy of the smaller and thus even more portable Hive Pocket (paid link). When I’m at home I prefer playing with the larger set, and when I’m on the go I prefer using smaller Hive Pocket. I have the expansion packs for both, which introduce new bugs, for example the Pillbug for Hive Carbon (paid link).

This game is great. Read some reviews online. It is similar to chess in that each piece, represented by a different insect, moves in its own unique way. It is also somewhat similar to chess in that the goal is to trap, or checkmate, one of your opponent’s pieces. That is where the similarities end.

Unlike chess, pieces never leave the board. This is good when playing with kids (or maybe just my kid) because it doesn’t give them the visual sense that they are slowly being destroyed by the adult, as their pile of removed pieces grows and grows.

Also unlike chess, there is no board. You play with the insect tiles, and the tiles need to touch each other to maintain what they call the “one hive rule,” and that defines the playing space. This is great because the lack of a board means there is one less thing you need to pack.

The pieces are chunky bakelite tiles, so even if you spill something on them they are easy to clean and will not be destroyed. The game itself makes you think, but it plays quickly.

There you have it. Hive Carbon and Hive Pocket are a quality. Note, the mosquito, pillbug, and ladybug are expansions that were added to the original game. Both of these versions come with SOME of those, but not all. Personally, I always play with all of the expansions, even when playing with my kid who was in early elementary school at time of writing. The expansions do add complexity, but it’s not that complex. You and your players will be able to handle it.


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