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Katamino Tower

We previously featured Katamino and Katamino Family on Board's Eye View. These are both pentomino puzzle games designed by André Perriolat and published by Gigamic. They are both challenging puzzles, mostly playable as solitaire games.

Katamino Tower is similarly a solo game - tho' obviously you could play competitively with others by timing each player. Whereas the original Katamino games were two-dimensional, in that the pieces all lie flat and only connect up orthogonally, Marko Pavlovic's design for Katamino Tower takes Katamino into the third dimension. You're still connecting coloured pentominoes but these are each made up of five 'cubes' rather than five squares, so you're fitting them together to build a 3D structure. To make things even tougher, the pieces are all curved: the pentominoes have to form the outer wall of a tower and you need to combine them with the various ring shapes that form the inner wall.

Working with these 3D shapes is orders of magnitude more difficult than solving the original game's 2D puzzles. The game comes with 40 cards posing specific challenges of varying levels of difficulty but some of the Board's Eye View team who had raced thro' the original Katamino games found themselves stumbling even on the apparently simplest Katamino Tower puzzles! The puzzle cards all offer the solution on their reverse but one or two of us even struggled to assemble the towers correctly even with the solution in front of them.

The pentomino and ring blocks are all satisfyingly chunky wooden pieces, and the bright colours aren't merely decorative - they help define the puzzles and solutions. Just be warned, you'll need somehow to come up with a solution for rebuilding the tower just to get Katamino Tower back in the box!

Like Katamino and Katamino Family, Katamino Tower is published by Gigamic and it's distributed in the UK by Hachette Board Games.

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