Blinks introduces AI to tabletop gaming but is it worth the cost?
I enjoy having all of the family around (yes, even though our immediate family has seen each other more in the past year than normal due to quarantine). However, there are times when I search for things to do to keep us entertained.
With teenage boys at home, dragging them off of their devices can sometimes be a daunting task. So I was excited to see a new game pop up. Blinks is a tabletop game that is built with magnetic AI-powered game pieces. Each piece is hexagonal-shaped and communicates with any other piece that is connected. Sounds fancy, intriguing, and maybe just the thing to engage those pesky teens!
The pieces are each programmed with their own game and not only respond to your touch, they also communicate with each other and think for themselves. Since Blinks is open platform and open source, you can continually expand with new games as you add new Blinks to your game closet. The core set ($99) comes with 6 pieces and you can purchase a variety of sets: the expansion set ($99), community set ($99), and the social combo ($179). I received the core and expansion sets, providing 12 games for my family fun nights.
Blinks Core Set
This set is the original set that includes 6 blinks and a carrying case that rolls up sushi-style to allow you to take them with you. The games include Mortals (a strategy game), Fracture (a tactile puzzle game), Bomb Brigade (a party bomb squad mission game), Wham (a whack-a-mole type game), Berry (a strategy game), and Puzzle 101 (self-generating puzzles to solve). Also included is the directions booklet.
I found the booklet of directions to be somewhat helpful as we were setting up the game but referred to the YouTube videos to guide me through set up, switching games, and learning to play each game. Once I understood the basics, I brought my family in to play the games. The games we found most entertaining were Wham and Bomb Brigade. Adding more Blinks increases the fun so we were glad to have the expansion set.
Blinks Expansion Set
The game system expansion set also includes 6 Blinks, a carrying case, and directions. The games in this set include Astro, Honey, Flic Flop, Speed Racer, ZenFlow, and Widgets. We enjoyed Astro and Speed Racer the most.
Although we enjoyed some of the games, I have to admit that we have several other games that keep us entertained more than Blinks did. I think the steep learning curve for this new game was to blame. It was not super easy to learn the games and my teens would much rather play a game that is quick to learn. Also, at the price point, I think I would save my money and go with something more budget-friendly. However, if you’re looking for a new, innovative game that incorporates technology that could lure your family away from those screens, Blinks could be just what you’re looking for!