There’s a few types of things that attract me to a game – first being the aesthetics. If something looks good, I tend to click and look to see what the game is about.
Once there, I look deeper. If I am with a game group and such, I don’t mind some deeper games. But when I am playing solo, most of the time I like simple games that don’t take too long, but still have a bit of thinking or strategy to go with it.
Criss Cross seemed to be most of that. A small game that you could throw easily in a backpack and travel with, it’s designed by Reiner Knizia. The concept is simple – roll two dice and put the symbols on your scoresheet. The catch is they have to be placed next to one another – be it vertically or horizontally.
The goal is to get as many symbols in a row, which gets you your points. If you have other symbols in between, it makes it harder to get bigger points. The key is not just having many symbols in a row, but they have to be connected with one another.
The game, playing solo, takes no more than 10 or so minutes. It requires a bit of thinking as you never know the next roll. So do you want to break up this spot or the next one. You can place the symbols wherever – they don’t have to connect with previous ones – but at the same time, you have to think about connecting symbols.
Reality is this game isn’t one where you will be straining your brain over things. You roll some dice and try and be strategic where you place the symbols on your grid. Before you know it, the game is over. The “advanced” version makes you look at the middle diagonal line (though you still can’t put things diagonally) and you could that up and back for points at the end of the game. That gives you a whole different way of thinking about the game.
This was a relatively cheap game and it’s footprint, as noted before, is small. I like that aspect. Also, if I want to just chuck some dice and write a few things down, it’s easy to do.
The replayability probably isn’t to the point where you’d want to play it every night. But with it being so small, it’s easy to keep around and use when you just need a quick game.