Kaliko: a game in knots

kalikoMy favorite tent at this year’s Shadyside Art and Craft Festival was the exhibit by Kadon Enterprises. The artists makes (and sells) what she calls “gamepuzzles”; I would call them tangramoids at first glance. She also sells board games of a more recognizable sort, what with turn-taking and point-awarding and victory-conditioning. We had quite a lengthy discussion about a few of the games she had sitting out, and in the end I couldn’t help but to purchase a game called “Kaliko”.

Visually, Kaliko is reminiscent of Tsuro, while the scoring and play system is almost identical to Scrabble. But instead of being scored on a main word and incidental perpendicular words, the Kaliko player is scored on a main “scoring path” and incidentally linked paths. The game consists of 85 hexagonal tiles, each of which corresponds to a unique 1-regular graph on six vertices and thee distinct edge-colors. A randomly selected tile seeds the board and players take turns using their 7-tile hands to construct scoring paths. A scoring path in a path which newly connects two like-colored path-ends in the existing pattern on the board.

Nora and I played for the first time last night; the final game board is displayed in the figure. Before we played, I also experimented with creating interesting designs using the 2-color tiles.