Kamon is an abstract game designed specifically for two players, promising an engaging mix of strategy and anticipation. This elegantly simple yet intricate game challenges players to use wit and foresight in each turn.
2 players, ages 8+
Playing time: 10 minutes
Designer: Bruno Cathala
Artwork: Tom Delahaye
Getting started with Kamon is straightforward. The board is placed between the players. Each player chooses a color, black or white, and receives 18 hexagons of their selected color. Then, the board is set with 36 Kamon tokens and a unique blank token, all placed randomly.
🛑 The game begins with the player holding the black hexagons. They place their hexagon on an edge space, taking care to avoid the six bicolor corners. Subsequently, they put a golden hexagon atop their black one, indicating to their opponent the constraints for their next move.
🔄 The player with the white hexagons follows up, placing their hexagon on a space containing a Kamon with the same symbol or color as the one the black player just used. After placing their hexagon, they also stack the golden hexagon on top, setting the guidelines for the black player’s next move.
🔁 This alternating sequence continues, with players placing their hexagons based on the symbol or color of the Kamon indicated by the golden hexagon. The game concludes when one of the three victory conditions is met:
1️⃣ Edge Connection: This involves connecting two opposite edges of the same color.
2️⃣ Loop Creation: A player can secure victory by forming a loop from a continuous chain of their own color, including at least one free space or hexagon of the opposing color.
3️⃣ Lockout: The game ends when a player can’t make a move because no tokens are available with the necessary symbol or color on the board.
With Kamon, acclaimed designer Bruno Cathala presents an abstract game for two players that is easy to grasp yet deeply strategic. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to explain the rules, making it a quick start for anyone who wants to dive right into the gameplay.
The game’s beauty lies in its straightforward gameplay, which is entirely devoid of luck. In Kamon, your strategic decisions are key. It’s a brain teaser where each move you make requires careful consideration and foresight. This is particularly crucial as the choice you make directly shapes the options available to your opponent.
🔄 Kamon’s board layout adds an interesting layer of variability to each game, keeping it fresh and engaging for repeated plays. The layout of the Kamon tokens, randomly placed at the start, ensures that no two games are the same. The blank space, initially seeming inconsequential, often comes into play in unexpected ways, adding a nuanced layer to your strategic considerations.
🏁 The game provides a variety of end conditions, requiring players to stay vigilant throughout the gameplay. Every move carries significant weight, as a small mistake can lead to immediate consequences. This intensity crescendos towards the end of the game as the number of possible moves starts to dwindle, making each decision even more critical.
🎨 Kamon, in addition to its intense and compelling gameplay, also showcases elegance through its components. The carefully designed hexagon tokens contribute significantly to the game’s aesthetic appeal, combining form and function beautifully.
💡 In conclusion, Kamon is an intriguing abstract game designed specifically for two players. A mix of simplicity and strategy, coupled with variability, all come together to provide an intense gaming experience.
Please note: We received a copy of Kamon from the publisher Cosmoludo for this review.