When I first saw Got ‘Em! in Calliope Games‘ booth at Gen Con, my first thought was it was a reissue of a Thrift Treasure we featured last year. Blockade (and later Quoridor) looked very similar – a plastic board with grooves and colored player pegs. That was fine with me because today we still enjoy a quick game of Blockade when there are only two of us. As it turns out, that was the only similarity – Got ‘Em! was a very different animal, and one that supported up to four players!
The first thing my daughter commented on was the cutely-designed game box done in a comic book style, all the way down to simulated rosette printing patterns. In Got ‘Em! you are simply trying to outlast your opponents by trapping them on the board before they trap you.
For the base game, each player is dealt a hand of three cards. On their turn one card is selected to play and the actions on the card are performed. Most cards simply allow you to place a wall adjacent to a colored square and then move your own pawn up to 1, 2 or 3 spaces.
Each player starts in a predetermined spot on the board matching the color of their pawn. Your movements are horizontally or vertically (not diagonal) and typically not through walls (although there are special cards that will allow it). After your card is played, draw back up to three cards.
Play continues in order until the inevitable happens – someone has their pawn surrounded on all four sides. The special card won’t help you at this point as you are eliminated the second you are surrounded! This is usually accomplished by multiple players ganging up on one person (sorry Nicole)! But then those players must turn on each other to decide the final winner.
And on this day, dad finally got his win. That’s not to say our youngest didn’t put up a great fight. At 11 years old, this game is very easy for her to learn and still presents a substantial challenge when played against someone more experienced. Rated for ages 8+, that’s about the right minimum age that I’d recommend.
But Got ‘Em! has something unique up its sleeve. Turn the board over and you have a completely different game. Notice the lack of color, so the cards won’t be used at all. This “brainy” version is a complete free-for-all. On your turn you place a wall anywhere on the board and move your pawn one square PLUS a number of squares equal to the number of walls on the square it currently occupies. There will be no special cards to save you, so you really have to plan ahead. Again, surround an opponent and they are eliminated. Be the last pawn standing and you are the brainiest of them all!
So technically you get two games for the price of one when you pick up your copy of Got ‘Em! You’ll find yours on Amazon or direct from Calliope Games. At under $30 and with the 2-game ruleset, it is a fantastic value. Keep an eye on Calliope’s Twitter and Facebook timelines – they regularly offer sales and new product announcements that you’ll want to stay on top of.
And we have an even better value for our readers here at SahmReviews! Thanks to the generosity of Calliope Games, we are giving away a brand new copy of Got ‘Em! to one lucky reader! Enter using the form below, and don’t forget to come back each day for additional entries! And don’t forget to check out our other current giveaways while you’re here!