Published by: Invented4
# of Players: 2 (4 with 2 copies)
On Kickstarter till October 5th 2015
In Less you are trying to move your 4 pawns from your base tile to your opponent's base tile in less moves than your opponent. Each turn players move their pawns using 3 movement points. Moving your pawn horizontally or vertically one space costs 1 movement point. You can also hop over another pawn to the next available space for 1 movement point. Pawns can jump over a single wall to the next space for 2 movement points or a double wall for 3 movement points. You can not move diagonally or jump over more than 1 pawn in one movement. The key to Less is to block your opponent while also using your pawns to progress faster on the board. Each set-up is random and with 12 tiles there are over 100,000 combinations to enjoy.
Less accomplishes what it was designed to be as a game. Less is a fun compact travel game that can be taken and played almost anywhere. If you are looking for a game you can teach in a minute and want your conversation with friends and family to be the primary focus and the game secondary, then Less provides you with that. There are very similar games to Less like Mine shift, but Less focuses on simplicity of play over additional mechanics and fancy tokens/theme that you see in Mine Shift. I find that each of these two games has their own niche and it is up to you to determine if you want something that feels more like a game night game or one that is just part of a relaxing night with that significant other or friend. I found Less to be enjoyable but also could become mundane and boring after multiple plays. If you enjoy Chess or Chinese Checkers then this game is for you. I thought it was a great idea to have your tiles in the shape of coasters and the different backs provide a choice for almost anyone to enjoy. While Less is very simple in rules and design, it is also a game that can tax the mind much like a game of chess. Less works great as a next step up from checkers when teaching younger ones new games. On their current Kickstarter they have added a new way to be able to tell your teammates pawns compared to your own by making an indent on one of the sides. One of my only issues with the game was that you need to buy and carry around 2 copies if you want to play 4 player 2v2 match. Due to only playing an early production copy I can not say how the tiles will stand up to being used as coasters then used as a game again. The copy I did receive did have sturdy tiles similar to high quality bar coasters and a smooth finish on top. The pawns are stained pieces of wood that will hold up forever. Those who I played with enjoyed the game and nobody has had any issue learning the game. To sum up Less, it is a simple game that feels like checkers but does not take over a conversation. If this sounds like what you want in a game then i recommend checking out their Kickstarter going on now.
Pros: + Compact and simplistic design
+ Tiles double as coasters
+ Lends itself to being secondary to enjoying association with others
+ Game that people young and old can learn and enjoy
Cons: - Needing 2 copies to play 4 player
- may be too simple for some
- it is not something I would reach for if I want to primarily play a game
- standard risk with all Kickstarter games
Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/less/less-like-chess-but-less
Note: While I did receive a review copy from Invented4, I did not receive any monetary compensation for this early review. The view and opinions are of my own and have not been influenced by anyone associated with this game.