If you live near a mall, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the calendar store Go! that pops up every year just before the holiday season. With the demise of Toys R Us and Kay Bee Toys, they’ve become a go-to location for more than just calendars. Toys, stuffed animals, blind bags and games of all types fill their shelves. Their prices aren’t that great unless you find something on sale. What I didn’t realize is they have begun publishing some games on their own.
We picked up this copy of Pathwayz at our Goodwill for only $2.88. From our research, it seems to have gone on sale at Go! for around $10, so still a good discount. Plus, it is an abstract game, which as you know is one of our favorite types of games. So much so that we invented our own – Gekitai!
The object in Pathwayz is to build a continuous line of your pieces connecting the short edges of the board (thus, the line goes across the longer portion). There are two types of pieces, regular and permanent, and are identified by the absence or inclusion of a small blue dot in the piece’s center. The wooden (bamboo?) board is set between both players and the person with the white pieces will take the first turn.
On your turn you will play to any open space on the board. You may either place a regular piece in your color, which ends your turn, or place permanent piece in your opponent’s color. When you do this, all adjacent regular pieces of both colors flip to the other side, including diagonals. Permanent pieces are unique in that they cannot be flipped.
A line across the board can connect from column to column both orthogonally and diagonally. All pieces showing your color count towards the progression across the board. The first player to successfully create a connected line across all twelve columns wins Pathwayz.
Like many abstract games, Pathwayz can easily be recreated at home with Othello pieces and a printed 8×12 board. If you happen across a copy at thrift, it is worth picking up to avoid the DIY headache. Boxes do appear from time to time on eBay and will probably be more common in a few years once people tire of their copy.
Have you ever purchased a game at the Go! store?