Block Ness: A monstrously fun quick family game

Block Ness from Blue Orange Games has been quite the hit at my house.  I played with my daughter, my husband and I played, we’ve all played together — it’s been great fun! Obviously, it’s a rather quick game and quite repeatable — two things that make Block Ness perfect for family game time.

How to Setup Block Ness

Each player selects a color and takes all of the monster pieces of their color.  Everyone looks for the lowest height piece of their color, plus the head and the tail and this is going to make their starting monster.  Now how much of the board you’ll be playing on is going to depend on the number of players.  For a two player game, you’ll only be in the darkest water in the center of the board.  Each player adds an extra ring to the playing area with 4 players using the whole board.  Each player places their starting monster somewhere on the board.

Block Ness game mid-play with four different color arch-shaped serpent bodies in box and others in piles on the board

How to Play

Set up is a snap and so are the rules for Block Ness. You have to play one of your pieces so that it is next two one of the three holes at the front or the back of your monster.  Then you’ll move either the head or the tail so your monster now includes this new segment.  There are a few additional rules for body placement:

  • You cannot place a body part UNDER another body part.
  • You cannot place a body part above a head or tail.
  • If a body part tilts as it tries to cross another body part that doesn’t work either as they’re likely the same height.

Players place 1 body segment per turn and when all players are blocked or all segments have been used the game is over.  The player who has the fewest body segments left is the winner.  In case of a tie (which has happened to us a few times) it’s the player with the tallest head that’s the winner.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the simplicity of Block Ness.  The rules are easy to get and it often played in less than 15 minutes, but it was enjoyably strategic.  As you play you’ll think about when to play your tall pieces and long pieces, as well as trying to block other players while leaving your options open. It requires some thought but won’t give you analysis paralysis and no one is taking days to complete their turn.  Another nice bit is that it looks fun, making it easy to entice others to play! Overall I really enjoyed Block Ness and I hope you give it a shot and enjoy it too!

Other fun note: there’s an expert variation in clued in the game.  Haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure I will!

Block Ness Stats

~$21 NOT at Amazon yet, and please call your local game store first
2-4 players
~15 minutes
Ages 8+ (but my 6 year old enjoyed it)

Game was provided free of charge from the manufacturer with no guarantee of review (I’ve got to like it). An Amazon Associate I will earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.