Recently, I went on a trip and took six games with me in a package that rolled up smaller than my fist. I was trying out Blinks, a clever tabletop game that is built around a set of six small interactive, hexagonal pucks. Not only were they great for passing time alone, but everyone who saw them wanted to join in. Right now, whether you want the Blinks Core Set or the Blinks Expansion Set, you canwhen you apply promo code CNET20 at checkout.
That link should get you the discount automatically, but if not, be sure to apply the promo code.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so where to start? Well, each package comes with six little hexagonal pucks, called Blinks, and on every Blink, all six sides are magnetic, so they snap together in any configuration you like. The entire top of each Blink is a big button, and the Blinks communicate with you by lighting up with multicolor LEDs as well.
Each Blink knows how to play one game — the name of the game is written on the Blink itself — so you can browse the Blinks and decide which game you want to play. Then just connect all the Blinks into a group and press the lucky one, which teaches all the other Blinks the rules of your selected game. If you want to change games, you can pick a new Blink and repeat the process.
The Core Set comes with a fun assortment of games, like Mortals, a two-player game in which each Blink starts the round with 30 seconds of life, and you move them around to try to live the longest. Your Blink steals time from whatever other Blinks it’s touching — the life level is indicated by the color of the Blink — which adds up to some fast-paced strategizing.
There’s also a game called Bomb Brigade, in which as many as 10 players take turns trying to trigger a Blink that acts like a spinning “bomb” — a variation of Russian Roulette. Any surrounding Blinks act as a shield, but if the shields are fully depleted or the bomb goes off where there is no shield, that player is out.
There are four other games in the Core Set. You’ll find goodies like a dynamic self-generating puzzle, a whack-a-mole game and more. And you can add more Blinks. There’s an expansion set with another six Blinks, each with its own unique game. Not only does owning two sets get you 12 distinct games, but many games are enhanced by having more than six total Blinks. Speed Racer, a game in which you have to continuously move Blinks from the back of a line to the front to give a speeding car some road on which to drive, plays better with a dozen Blinks rather than just six. Nor is that the end of the road; developer Move38 plans to release additional games on a regular basis, with two more six-game expansion sets arriving this fall.
And if you’re leaving the house (please, wear a mask) like I recently did, each set of Blinks rolls into a handy sushi-roll carrying case.
A few of the games have rules that are a little confusing, but if you have any trouble making sense of the one-page rules explanation for each game, go online to see a helpful video walk-through.
I’m pretty jazzed about Blinks, which are rated for everyone age 14 and up. If you want to give them a shot, you can start with theor save 20% on anything at the site, including the Blinks Expansion Set or the Blinks Combo Set, which includes both. Just be sure to apply promo code CNET20 at checkout.
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