A Preview by
- 2 Players
- 10-15 minutes
Ox is game for two players. The aim of OX is to move your 8 pieces along the track and move them off at the far end. You need to try to do this before your opponent manages to get all of their markers off the other end of the track.
What do I get?
OX comes in a very portable drawstring bag and is designed to be esaily carried in a pocket or a bag.
- 1 OX Wood and Leather Board.
- 8 Light Wood Player Discs.
- 8 Dark Wood Player Discs.
- 2 Dice.
- 1 Rules Booklet.
In a game of OX you follow some very simple steps that will initially hide some of the strategy involved.
Roll the two dice:- You will then move either one of your discs first one die then the other (this is important as you cannot just move the total). Or you can move two of your discs, one for each die. Rolls of a double allow you to have an extra roll after you have moved. If you are able to move a disc off the far end of the board you do not need an exact roll. Simple as that really.
IS THAT IT?!
Ha ha. Don’t be silly of course not. While the essential mechanic is “roll dice then move”. The real game starts with the fact you can capture opponents discs “knock them off the board so they have to start again”. You can also block spaces by having discs adjacent. This makes them safe from capture. You also have to move if you can. You are not allowed to pass just because it would leave a disc unprotected. There is also the ability to stack upto two discs. This does not protect them however unless they are next to a second stack.
There is no theme in OX. It genuinely does not need one. In fact if you tried to add one it would take away from the game itself. Here we have an abstract game that blends strategy with luck of the roll in a very nice sustainable portable fashion.
There is in actual fact a surprising amount of strategy in a game of OX. I found myself very much reminded of the game “Backgammon” in respect of the strategy involved with moving your discs and making safe spots. In the many (10+) games we played, strategy beat luck most of the time. What was nice though was even when you were quite a bit behind a couple of lucky double rolls could get you right back into the game. Even if that did not happen a game of OX is over so quickly that you will be setting up to play again before the winner has finished their “Happy Dance”. I did however lose one game to an absolute outrageous lucky roll of 3 consecutive double sixes (geez). Which showed me that the creators have worked hard to create a balance that can allow even the less tactical player to get the occasional win.
Yes you did read that right. The designers of OX have worked hard to make their game as sustainable as possible. They have selected the materials from sustainable resources and all manufactured by hand. The boards central space is made from Mahogany with players discs being made from Oak and Walnut all with FSC / PEFC certification. The leather of the board is offered in a choice of four colours.
Through the Kickstarter the designers are also offering extra personalised player discs for that truly competitive pairing. They will also be offering a companion app to allow for the occasions when you are not in a position to be able to roll dice (fancy playing this on the side of a mountain?)
I like OX it is very simple to play and even easier to teach. OX can be played by most age groups. With a good balance of strategy versus luck in evidence. The portability is in my mind another plus. I played a game sat at a bar waiting to be served and also in the back of a car on a journey. Very quick playtime allows for repeated playing. This is definitly designed to be a portable experience and I do not see it being played at local game meet-ups on a frequent basis. It will howver be in the pocket for those times when you are waiting for a longer game to finish. Another huge plus for me personally is the sustainability of OX. This is not a game that you throw away after a few months. Being wood and leather it will survive all sorts of abuse. The player discs fit into the board when not playing so your unlikely to lose them. The roll to move might put off those strategy purists. I say that is their loss.
- Playable by all ages.
- Fast play.
- 2 Player.
- Mix of strategy and luck.
- Luck will put off some.
- Only 2 player.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of OX in order to review the game. This in no way affected the review above.