Review: Abalone

Disclosure: This product was sent to us free of charge for the purpose of this review. However, as per my PR Info page, this review represents our honest opinion of the product. This post may contain affiliate links.

Product: Abalone

Price: £24.99

Age Range: 7 years+

Manufacturer’s Description: Two camps face off across a hexagonal board containing black and white marbles. Your objective: push six opposing marbles into the rails along the edge of the board. Sharpen your attack and refine your defence. Observe. plan… and weigh up your options at every move!

Rating: (4/5 stars)

Review: Sometimes it is nice to sit down after the girls have gone to bed, and play a game together – James and I don’t have a lot of two player games we can play during some ‘adult time’ but this is definitely a good one.

The age rating is 7 years+ so Georgie could probably give this two player game a go, but so far just James and I have played it.

Inside the box you get the hexagonal game board, 14 white marbles, 14 black marbles, and the instructions sheet. 

The game board is set up with the white marbles on one side of the board and the black marbles on the opposite side. Players take it in turns to play, with black going first. Marbles can be moved in any direction, one space at a time, and you can also move rows of up to three marbles by one space. The aim of the game is to push your opponent’s marbles off the edge of the board by doing a ‘sumito’ move, with the first player to push six opposing marbles from the board winning the game.

The instructions have really clear diagrams displaying the different moves you can make, and after a few minutes moving the marbles around the board recreating the illustrations to get our head around the rules, we were ready for our first game. I won, of course! James is still suffering from a bit of ego bashing from me winning our first game – but he made the mistake of splitting his marbles up.

Pushing your opponent’s marbles requires you to have at least one more marble than they do, so two or three marbles can push one, or three marbles cane push two. Because of this, once you have three marbles in a row they cannot be moved along that direction. 

We found this game quite mentally challenging and it was a lot of fun. It is well made and the marbles move around the board with a satisfying slide-thunk. We give this game 4 stars.

There’s also an iOS game for your iPhone or iPad if you want to have a virtual go before buying the full game: