Thrift Treasure: 3 Stones Game
Because people are playing more games and assembling more puzzles due to the coronavirus, thrift shopping has become more hit-and-miss. We’ll either find absolutely nothing or luck out and arrive right after someone has cleaned out their closet. If there was ever a Goodwill bed-and-breakfast, we’d be frequent visitors for sure.
This week I spied a game I hadn’t seen before. 3 Stones by Enginuity checked all the boxes I usually look for in an abstract game. Heavy wooden board, quality components and simple rules are all featured in this game from the early 2000’s. It also sported a Mensa Select competition winner sticker, so I had very high hopes for the game!
It turns out 3 Stones is a very neat abstract game that earned its place in my collection. The goal is simple – line up 3-in-a-row of your color to score a point (just like Gekitai!). Here’s the twist – you’re not always playing a piece of your color. I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s set up the game first.
Place the large octagonal wooden board in the center of the play area. Place the stones (30 white, 30 black and 12 clear) into the included drawstring bag. Decide on what color each player will represent (white or black). Finally, place the metal scoring pegs into the zero positions of each scoring track.
On your turn you will draw one stone from the bag at random and play it to the board. The very first stone may be played to any position. Subsequent turns require the player to play only in the same column or row as their opponent just did. Keeping track of this is easy. After each stone is played, a small ring is placed over the stone, marking it for the next player.
It doesn’t matter which color stone you drew. Whatever comes out of the bag is what is played. Clear stones act as a wild for both players. If at any time you cannot place in the same column or row as the previous player because they are all filled, you may place in any position.
Whenever you manage to line up 3-in-a-row of your color, you will score a point and track it with the metal pins. Four-in-a-row counts as two 3-in-a-rows. Each set of three can only be counted once and may be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Players take turns placing and scoring until the final stone from the bag is played. The person with the highest score wins 3 Stones! If tied, the game is a draw.
Optional rules for timed play, pure skill (don’t use the bag) and handicapping (spot the weak player a couple points) are included. You won’t find new copies of 3 Stones on store shelves. However, if you’d like to add a copy to your collection, keep watch on eBay where they do pop up from time to time. If you find one at thrift – grab it. Even if it is missing a couple stones. They’re very easy to replace at any Hobby Lobby or Michael’s!
Have you ever seen this game at your thrift store?
31 thoughts on “Thrift Treasure: 3 Stones Game”
Never saw it before.
Not this one, but I picked up a couple nice ones over the years….
Never heard of this game or seen it at the local thrift store.
Never heard of or seen this at a thrift store.
i have seen this one and did not know what it was!
I have not seen this at a thrift store before.
I look for games at my local thrift store but I have never seen this one before.
Never heard of this game before now .
This looks neat! Haven’t seen it at a thrift store, but if I did I think it would catch my eye and I’d consider picking it up.
I haven’t seen that one yet and I’m constantly searching thrift stores for deals. Sounds fun though, so I’ll be on the lookout.
I’ve never seen this before.
I have never seen it before
I have never played this but it looks similar to a game i used to play with my gma
I’ve never seen this game before. Closest to it, that I have seen at a thrift store, would be Mancala.
Looks neat, but never seen it before.
Never seen that particular one, but it looks a bit like Chinese checkers?
I haven’t ever seen this at a thrift store.
Have never seen this one before.
The thrift stores near me only ever have Monopoly and Risk…
No, I have not seen it in thrift stores.
I’ve never heard of it. All I have ever found at thrift stores is common games or puzzles with pieces missing.
I’ve never seen (or heard) of 3 Stones before, especially at a thrift store. I’ve only seen games for much younger children or Monopoly at thrift stores.
Nope. I have not
never seen it
Never seen it
No, I never have seen this in the thrift store, but wish I had!
No, never seen it at the thrift store!
I have not seen this game but I always look for games at my thrift stores and usually leave with one or two.
Never seen it at a thrift store!
Just stop at my local goodwill and found the game 3stones never been open picked it up we can’t stop playing it .
A tip-of-the-hat for publishing how to play. I have had the game for years but never knew how to play(no instructions). We have turned into gamers since Covid hit, so I finally went searching. I’m sorry I didn’t do that earlier. The game’s a hoot!