Designed by Faouzi Boughida, Twisty is an engaging abstract strategy game that's easy to learn. Wooden counters are placed out randomly on the 7 x 7 board. These wooden counters show either a coloured cube (4 cubes in each of 7 colours) or an icon indicating a special effect. The 2–4 players each place their pawn in one of the corner squares and they take a set of tokens showing the 7 colours. These are placed out to create the randomised order in which the player has to collect the cube counters.
On your turn, you jump your pawn in a Chess knight's move to land on another square. You are trying to reach a counter with the coloured cube that's next on your collection list, and the special effects counters can also help you reach your target counter. The winner of the game is the first to collect all seven coloured cube counters and then reach the centre square (like pegging off in croquet).
As in Chess, you'll do best at this game if you can plan your moves ahead, but you need to keep an eye too on the order in which opponents are trying to collect colours so that you can avoid the frustration of setting up a move to reach a square that another player has gotten to ahead of you. There's a disadvantage in starting after other players (particularly going 4th in a four player game) but the game compensates for this with the twist of allowing players to 'steal' counters previously claimed by another player. You can use certain special effect counters to guard against 'theft' but that protection is likely to be at the cost of a more directly productive move. The to and fro of the 'take that' theft mechanic adds an additional layer of competitive strategy to what might otherwise have been a relatively dry puzzle game.
Like the game itself, the art by Regis Lejonc is uncomplicated but appealing. And, with the chunky wooden counters, Djeco have done their usual sterling job on the production. Twisty plays quickly (expect a game to take a little over 20 minutes) but it's a game where opponents are likely to be immediately clamouring for a rematch...