Punkti, Punkti, Strichi, Strichi
April 17, 2011
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A couple of days ago I wrote in American board games that American shareware developers prefer to emulate commercial board games, while European developers more often take traditional board games and pen-and-paper games as a model. Meanwhile I noticed that there are two pen-and-paper games that seem to be predominantly American. There are not many implementations of them, far fewer than of the commercial board games, so what I wrote in the previous article holds true nevertheless.
The first is known as Dots. It is played on a grid of exactly that. Each turn the players connect two neighboring dots with a vertical or horizontal line. The goal is to close as many squares as possible. The player who has closed more squares has won. A famous implementation of this concept is William Soleau’s Dotso. Three that I have put up are Computer Dots by John E. Thayer and Dots for Windows by Ralph W. Whitfield, Jr, which go exactly by the aforementioned rules, and Linx by Arkady Elterman, which allows diagonal lines as well and calculates the exact area instead of just counting squares.
For the other game, I know no name. It, too, is played on a grid of dots, but a different grid, the dots are aligned diagonally. Again the players connect two dots each turn with a horizontal or vertical line, but the goal is different. One player tries to connect the left side of the playing field with the right side in an uninterrupted line, the other player tries to do the same with the top and bottom side. The one who succeeds wins, the two goals are mutually exclusive. Two implementations are Span-It! and Fences.
Curt Johnson started writing a game of this type in 1990, but never finished it.