Thrift Treasure: Kage

Thrift Treasure: Kage

I knew when I picked up the box at our local Stuff Etc. that I had to have it. The company logo gave it away – TSR. For the uninformed, TSR was the original RPG company founded in part by Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons. To many (if not most) role-playing gamers, he is a god. In the 80’s, TSR began issuing other non-RPG games in an effort to grow beyond their D&D base. This week’s Thrift Treasure is one of those attempts – Kage.

Did you know that TSR issued games other than Dungeons & Dragons? This week's Thrift Treasure is one of those! Check out Kage! - SahmReviews.com

By today’s standards, Kage is a rather simple game. Your object is to “cage” your opponent’s piece by completing a box. In their description, the squares represent two bird types (blue = Blue Jay, red = Cardinal). Each player has one bird and shares a pool of 48 white plastic bars in which the cages will be constructed.

Did you know that TSR issued games other than Dungeons & Dragons? This week's Thrift Treasure is one of those! Check out Kage! - SahmReviews.com

On your turn you take one action from a possible two. Either move your bird one space orthogonally or add a white bar to the board on an unused line.  And that’s really all there is to it. Take turns doing one or the other until one player has completely boxed in their opponent’s piece.

Did you know that TSR issued games other than Dungeons & Dragons? This week's Thrift Treasure is one of those! Check out Kage! - SahmReviews.com

Much like other true abstract games, there is quite a bit of strategy happening in Kage. Choosing when to move and when to place is a critical decision, and it becomes very easy to trap yourself if you’re not careful. When the game begins the playing area is wide open. But once pieces start being placed, the “safe areas” quickly become smaller and smaller.

Did you know that TSR issued games other than Dungeons & Dragons? This week's Thrift Treasure is one of those! Check out Kage! - SahmReviews.com

Quite a fun 2-player game, but it does seem there is an advantage for going first. For that reason, multiple rounds will be needed to find out who is the real champion of the house! You’ll find a number of copies of Kage for sale on eBay for under $10. Now that I know about this series, I’ll be on the lookout for others issued by TSR in the same era!

Scott Brady

About Scott Brady

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an award-winning board game designer with notable titles such as Hues and Cues and boop.

7 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Kage»

  1. Shelby says:

    I don’t know what I think… Could be fun

  2. Nuno Santos says:

    Nice find. Reminds me of a similar game i had (can’t remind the name of it).

  3. I have never heard of this game before but it does look like one that I would try! Thanks for this, I will most certainly check it out.

  4. Elizabeth O. says:

    It sounds like a cool game! I love the idea and really makes you use your head when it comes to planning the next moves that you’re going to do. I think it’s a lot of fun!

  5. Wow! What an awesome game! This would be perfect this coming weekend!

  6. Chrysa says:

    This looks a lot like a game we used to play with graph paper and a pencil. Simple, but fun!

  7. Danielle says:

    It definitely sounds like a simple game, but I agree it requires a lot of strategy. I’d love to give this a go. It sounds like a great way to get my brain gears moving a little and I love challenges.

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