abstract board games

Top 7 Abstract Strategy Board Games

A Guide to the Best Abstract Games for Your Game Night

Looking for some great games or a new game night activity? Check out these top 7 abstract strategy games – the perfect way to amp up your game night and make it one you won’t forget!

Board games come in all shapes and sizes, offering endless fun and entertainment for people of all ages. However, while some games may rely on chance, others are designed with a specific set of rules and strategies, where victory depends entirely on the player takes either luck involved the player’s skill and ability to strategize. These games are called abstract strategy games!

Abstract strategy games are a type of board game that involves planning, execution, and outsmarting opponents using only the mind. Unlike other games, such as dice or card games, abstract games don’t rely on luck to win but instead on an opponent’s master of tactics and strategy.

happy children

One of the critical aspects of abstract strategy games is their adaptability. Each game offers different rules and strategies, which players can learn and master over time. This makes them challenging and rewarding, as players can improve their skills and achieve a sense of accomplishment when they win.

Moreover, abstract games are also great for mental stimulation. Playing these games can help improve cognitive skills, such as memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. They require players to think ahead, anticipate their opponent’s moves, and develop effective counter-strategies.

Another significant benefit of abstract games is that they offer an opportunity to connect with others. While most points these games can be played alone, they are often more enjoyable when played with others. They offer a chance to socialize and bond with friends and family over a shared love of strategy and intellect.

family playing board game

In conclusion, abstract games are an excellent way to challenge and entertain the mind. They offer a unique opportunity for players to hone their mental skills, connect with others, and derive a sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a novice gamer, an abstract game is perfect. So why not discover the joys of playing an abstract games today?



Players: 2 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 15 minutes

Pylos is an engaging abstract strategy game that can be enjoyed by families, friends, and players of all ages. This game has won several awards, including the Mensa Select Award and the Games Magazine’s Game of the Year. Playing is fun and stimulates the brain by testing tactical and problem-solving abilities.

Playing Pylos has many benefits both for children and adults. It helps develop strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It enhances visual perception and spatial reasoning, which is essential for success in many fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

How to Play:

  • The objective is to create a line of four marbles, horizontally or vertically, or to create a square of four marbles on the board.
  • The game begins with an empty board, with all 32 marbles arranged in a single layer.
  • The players take turns placing marbles on the board, but they cannot be moved once placed.
  • The game ends when one player creates a line or a square of four marbles.
  • Players can also remove marbles from the board to use them in future movements or block opponents’ movements.
  • When a player has a line of three marbles, they can use their turn to put a marble on top of an existing marble to create a stack. Stacks can consist of up to 4 marbles; the ones on top must be smaller than those below. A stack on a square that wins the game counts as part of that winning row.
  • The game ends immediately when a player is left out of the marbles, and all other movements are made. The other player is the winner.
  • The game is a draw if both players cannot form a winning line or square.

kids playing Pylos

Pylos is also an excellent way to spend quality time with friends and family. It is easy to play and requires no prior knowledge or experience. It is also ideal for parties, gatherings, and other social events.

Pylos is an excellent abstract strategy game that is easy to learn but challenging to master. It is a fun and engaging way to improve cognitive skills, stimulate the brain, and spend quality time with loved ones. Whether looking for a new hobby, a way to relax, or a fun and exciting game to play with others, Pylos is an excellent choice. It is no wonder that Pylos has won numerous awards and continues to be a favorite among players worldwide.



Players: 2-8 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 15–20 minutes

In the world of board games, there exists a genre that demands not only tactical thinking but also a touch of artistic flair. One such gem that perfectly embodies these qualities is the abstract strategy board game, Tsuro. With its elegantly simple rules, visually stunning components, and engrossing gameplay, Tsuro has captured the hearts of both casual players and avid gamers alike.

One of Tsuro’s most appealing aspects is its simplicity. The rules can be grasped within minutes, making it an excellent choice for both family gatherings and game nights with friends.

How to Play:

  • Guide your dragon token along the paths on the board while avoiding collisions with other players and the edge of the board.
  • Be the last dragon remaining on the board to win the game.
  • Place the game board in the center of the table.
  • Each player chooses a dragon token and places it at one of the starting points along the edge of the board.
  • On your turn, you will:
    • Draw a path tile from the stack.
    • Place the path tile adjacent to your dragon token, matching the paths on the tile with the existing paths on the board.
    • Move your dragon token along the path created by the tile until it reaches the end of the path.
  • After placing your tile and moving your dragon, all players must check if any dragon token’s path intersects with their own path or goes off the board. If a dragon token is forced off the board or collides with another path, that player is out of the game.
  • Continue taking turns clockwise until only one dragon token remains on the board.
  • You must place the tile so that it connects to your dragon’s current path or the edge of the board.
  • Tiles cannot be rotated or flipped before placement.
  • You cannot place a tile that would create an infinite loop.
  • The last remaining dragon token on the board is the winner.

kids playing Tsuro

Tsuro is a masterpiece of abstract strategy board gaming that combines simplicity, depth, and visual allure into a captivating package. Its accessibility, strategic brilliance, and social dynamics make it an essential addition to any board game collection. Whether you’re introducing newcomers to the world of strategy games or seeking a fresh challenge for seasoned gamers, Tsuro promises a journey filled with creativity, surprise, and the joy of shared moments. Embrace the allure of Tsuro and embark on a path to endless entertainment.



Players: 2 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 15-30 minutes

Among the myriad of options available, one gem that has captured the hearts of both casual gamers and strategists alike is the abstract strategy board game Patchwork. With its captivating gameplay, tactile components, and inherent strategy, Patchwork has woven itself into the fabric of board gaming culture.

One of the most endearing aspects of Patchwork is its tactile nature. The physical quilt pieces, buttons, and personal game boards lend a tangible quality to the game that modern digital games can’t replicate. The act of physically placing quilt pieces and watching patch pieces on your board come to life adds an extra layer of immersion to the gaming experience.

How to Play:

  • Build the best-fitting quilt using tetris-like pieces and earn points.
  • Each player gets a personal 9×9 quilt board.
  • Place the time track and tokens nearby.
  • Players take turns based on the time track.
  • On your turn:
    • Advance your time token on the time track.
    • Purchase and place a piece on your board.
    • Pay buttons equal to the piece’s cost (shown on the piece).
    • Move your token the number of spaces equal to the time cost of the piece.
  • Continue taking turns until both players reach the end of the time track.
  • Choose one of the three pieces available in the time circle.
  • Pay buttons equal to the cost shown on the chosen piece.
  • Place the chosen piece on your quilt board.
  • Pieces must be placed completely within your board.
  • Gaps are allowed, but points will be lost at the end.
  • Covering special patches earns buttons and bonuses.
  • Buttons are earned based on the number of uncovered spaces.
  • After both players reach the end of the time track, calculate scores.
  • Gain 1 point for every button you have left.
  • Lose 2 points for each empty space on your board.
  • Special patches and bonuses are scored as indicated.
  • The player with the most points wins.
  • Buttons are the tiebreaker.
  • The game ends after both players reach the end of the time track.
  • Calculate final scores as described above.

playing patchwork

Patchwork stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of abstract strategy board games. With its blend of resource management, spatial strategy, and tactile engagement, Patchwork offers a uniquely satisfying gaming experience. Whether you’re a seasoned strategist or a casual gamer, Patchwork weaves a compelling narrative of challenge and delight that will keep you coming back for more.



Players: 2-4 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 15 minutes

In the world of abstract strategy board games, few can match the engaging complexity and tactical brilliance of Quoridor. Developed by French game designer Mirko Marchesi in 1997, this seemingly simple game unfolds into a labyrinthine battleground that challenges players to outmaneuver their opponents with every move. Whether you’re a seasoned strategist or a casual gamer looking for a new challenge, Quoridor offers an immersive experience that sharpens your mind and fuels your competitive spirit.

Quoridor is a dance of strategy and tactics, requiring players to anticipate their opponent’s moves while plotting their own path to victory. The initial moves may seem straightforward, but the game quickly evolves into a multi-dimensional chess battle of wits.

How to Play:

  • The goal of Quoridor is to be the first player to reach the row of squares opposite your starting position.
  • The game board consists of a 9×9 grid, with each player starting on opposite sides of the board.
  • Each player’s pawn starts on the row closest to them, in the middle column.
  • The fences are placed around the board edges and along the marked lines between the squares.
  • Players take turns moving their pawn or placing a fence.
  • On a player’s turn, they can either move their pawn to an adjacent square (not diagonally) or place a fence on the marked lines.
  • Fences can block paths and limit movement. They cannot be placed in such a way that a pawn is completely trapped.
  • Players can jump over their opponent’s pawn if there is an empty square on the other side.
  • Players cannot jump over fences or move through them.
  • The first player to reach any row on the opposite side of the board from their starting position wins the game.

Quoridor stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of abstract strategy games. With its deceptively simple and elegant rules, and endless strategic possibilities, it has captivated players around the world for decades. Whether you’re a casual gamer seeking an intellectual challenge or a seasoned strategist looking to refine your skills, Quoridor is a game that guarantees hours of entertainment and a lifetime of strategic exploration. So, gather a friend, set up the board, and have endless fun!



Players: 1-4 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 45-60 minutes

If you’re an avid gamer, you’re constantly looking for your next favorite game. Something that challenges you keeps you engaged, and offers endless hours of gameplay. If you’re looking for a new game to add to your collection, consider Evergreen, the abstract game taking the gaming world by storm!

What sets Evergreen apart from other strategy games is how it blends elements of different games, creating a unique and engaging playing experience. Learning and playing are also straightforward, making it an excellent choice for beginner and experienced gamers.

How to Play:

  • Evergreen is a two-player game.
  • The game board is a 6×6 grid containing 36 squares.
  • Each player has 12 pieces. One player gets the blue, and the other gets the green pieces.
  • Blue always goes first.
  • Each piece can move to any unoccupied square on the board according to the following rules:
    • A square move: move to any adjacent square (in any direction).
    • A diagonal move: move to any diagonal square (in any direction).
    • A jump move: move over an opponent’s piece to land on the square immediately beyond.
  • Capturing: To capture an opponent’s piece, you need to move one of your pieces to a square adjacent to their piece and then move onto the square that their piece was on. The opponent’s piece is then removed from the board.
  • The game continues until one player has captured all of their opponent’s pieces or until one player cannot make a valid move.
  • If the game ends in a draw, then the players should play again, switching their pieces for this game.
  • Suppose a player forfeits the game (e.g., by running out of time or deciding to quit). In that case, the other player automatically wins.

But what really makes Evergreen stand out is the level of strategy involved. Unlike more traditional board games like chess, Evergreen allows for a great deal of creativity and improvisation. There’s not one ‘right’ move to make, so you’ll need to adapt your strategy as the game progresses as you go.

boy playing Quoridor

Aside from being a fun and challenging game, Evergreen offers a range of benefits. Playing games like Evergreen can help you develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It’s also a great way to connect and build social skills.

Evergreen is a game that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just looking for a new hobby, Evergreen offers endless entertainment, challenge, and engagement. So why not give it a try? It may become your new favorite game.



Players: 2 | Age: 10+ | Game Time: 30 minutes

Suppose you’re a fan of abstract board games or simply appreciate a good game that challenges the mind. In that case, Mandala is the perfect game for you. Created by Lookout Games, Mandala offers players a unique abstract gaming experience that is engaging and rewarding. This blog post will examine Mandala and why it’s a great game that you can afford to attend.

Mandala stands out from other strategy games because of its simple rules yet elegant design. The circular board and beautifully illustrated cards help create an immersive experience that transports players to another world. Unlike many other strategy games, which can be heavily reliant on luck, Mandala is all about strategy and skill. Every move you make counts, and your choice will impact the game’s outcome.

How to Play:

  • The game is set up on a circular board divided into multiple “rings” of varying colors.
  • Each player starts with four cards in their hand.
  • Players take turns placing cards into the rings on their or their opponent’s sides.
  • Cards can only be played on rings of the same color.
  • The aim is to create and control the most valuable collections of colored cards on each side of the board.
  • The game ends when all cards have been played or when both players agree to end the game.
  • At the end of the game, players score points based on the value of their collections.
  • The player with the most valuable collections wins.
  • In case of a tie, the player with the most cards in their collection wins.

Another unique aspect of the Mandala is that it’s straightforward to learn but challenging to master. You can pick up the basics of the game within just a few minutes. Still, it will take many games to truly appreciate the nuances and intricacies of the gameplay. This means that players of all skill levels can enjoy Mandala, whether you’re a seasoned board game pro or a complete beginner.

mandala game pieces

Mandala is a rare gem in board games, offering a visually stunning and engaging experience that will delight players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned board game pro or a beginner, this game is worth checking out. So why not see why Mandala is quickly becoming one of the year’s hottest new games around?



Players: 2 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 15 minutes

Suppose you’re a fan of board games. In that case, you’ve probably encountered different genres related to games, like worker placement, deck-building, and so on. However, abstract board games offer a unique challenge because they require your brain to work differently. One standout game in this category is Quantik from Gigamic.

Quantik is a two-player board game that challenges players to complete a series of objectives using different game pieces. The game comprises only two workers and 16 wooden pieces with four distinct shapes designated by color: red ovoid, green cube, blue pyramid, and yellow cylinder.

How to Play:

  • Each player selects a set of 4 pieces of the same color.
  • Players take turns picking a piece from the bag and placing it on the board.
  • The first player to get 4 pieces of unique shape or color in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) wins the game.
  • Once a player has placed a piece on the board, it cannot be moved.
  • The red ovoid can be placed in any position except one with three red pieces.
  • The green cube can only be placed where an even number of cubes are already placed.
  • The blue pyramid can only be placed in a position with at least one pyramid, and the same applies to the yellow cylinder.
  • The game ends in a tie if all pieces have been played without a winner.
  • The players can agree on the number of rounds to play, with the player who has won the most rounds declared the winner.

quantik game pieces

The game has straightforward rules, but its strength lies in its evolving strategies and infinite possibilities. You must focus on the objective while planning moves to block your opponent’s movement cards and master, making it an excellent brain exercise.

Quantic is an excellent game that checks all the boxes for a great abstract strategy game. It is easy to learn, strategic, and engaging, with high-quality components for long-lasting play. If you’re looking for a board game that you can play over and over without getting bored, Quantik is the abstract board game for you.

The Benefits of Playing Abstract Strategy Games

Abstract board games have been around for centuries. These games challenge players to outsmart their opponents with complex thinking and problem-solving skills. Here are five benefits of playing abstract games:

Improve critical thinking skills

Abstract strategy games require two players each to consider their opponent with many options and strategies to make the best move. Players must think ahead and anticipate their opponent’s moves to stay ahead.

happy family

Boost creativity

Playing an abstract game can help players become more creative and innovative. When faced with hidden information or when players face a challenging situation, players must think outside the box and develop unique solutions.

Develop patience and perseverance.

Winning at abstract games requires patience and perseverance. Players must continue playing even when things don’t go their way and stay calm under pressure.

Reduce stress

Playing an abstract game of chess like board game or games also provides a fun and engaging way to reduce stress and anxiety. Abstract strategy games offer a break from the stresses of daily life and provide a healthy outlet for relaxation.

Build social skills

Many abstract strategy games are meant to be played with others, which can help players build social skills and improve their communication and teamwork abilities.

children playing board game

Playing abstract games has several benefits for both mental and emotional health. So the next time you’re looking for a fun and challenging activity, consider trying out a game of abstract strategy!

In Summary:

In conclusion, playing abstract strategy games is not a fun pastime but a great way to improve cognitive skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. These games offer a mental workout that can help players develop a strategic mindset and better understand the consequences of their actions. Abstract strategy games have been enjoyed throughout history, and their enduring popularity and wide variety demonstrate their staying power.

family board game

Furthermore, abstract games can foster social skills and promote healthy competition. These games provide a framework for players to interact, learn from each other, and build friendships. Through strategic gameplay and friendly competition, players can develop their communication skills and learn how to work collaboratively towards a common goal.

Abstract games can offer a much-needed break from our technology-driven lives. Rather than staring at screens for hours, we can engage our minds and bodies with chess, like board games or games that require focus and strategic thinking. It offer a way to unplug from our fast-paced world and connect with the present moment while enjoying the company of others.

smiling children

In conclusion, playing abstract games provides numerous benefits, from cognitive and social development to pure entertainment. No matter your age or skill level, there has never been a better time to explore the world of abstract strategy games and add a new level of strategic depth to your gaming experience. So grab a game and get playing!

–In this blog, we talked about abstract games including Tsuro, Patchwork, Quoridor, Evergreen, Mandala, Quantik and Pylos. Hit the comments and let us know which games you’d like to hear about!