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Smart Strategy Games
Games that make you think - these are games that gifted kids (and adults)
love to play, game after game. Some old games, some new, and all great. Play them all!
More great strategy games our kids love at
and many more - all the links on Shop Hoagies! -
are all Hoagies' Gifted Education Page affiliates. Purchase through Hoagies' Page links,
and these stores give a small
percentage to Hoagies' Page at no cost
to you. Thanks!
- 7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards
from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the
remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards
simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or
interacting with other players in various ways. Players have individual
boards with special powers, where they organize their cards (boards have
two sides to create unique game play on replay). Each player then
chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process
repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three
ages, the game ends... it's a great game, and plays much better than any
short description could belie
10 Days in...
Can you plan a cohesive trip in ten
days? Some skill, some luck, lots of fun - great to study
geography of ... wherever you chose to go, they're all great! Available
10 Days in Africa,
10 Days in
10 Days in Asia,
10 Days in Europe and
10 Days in
- Learn in a minute, but may take a lifetime to master. Loosely
based on sumo wrestling, the point of Abalone is to push just 6 of your
opponents 14 marbles off of the playing surface, but there is a catch. It
takes two marbles to move one, and three to move two... Also Travel
- Quick to learn, quick to play, but lots of room for strategy and
challenge! Stack the stones following simple rules, and force your
opponent to run out of moves. Even comes in it's own small carrying
pouch - great to carry for travel and waiting rooms
- Classic strategy game...
- New classic wooden strategy game...
For the younger set, try
Batik Kid - fun fish shapes
Sheep from Blue Orange Games
- Occupy the most pastures with your sheep. On their turn, players split a
stack of their sheep and move a portion as far is it can go in a straight
line to a new pasture. Watch out for sneaky sheep and plan your moves
carefully to fence out your foe! A different playing board is assembled
before every game...
- Classic strategy game, adored by gifted kids as young as 4 or 5...
Electronic Battleship and
- Take turns placing as many of their 21 geometric shapes on board as
they can, but only the corners of their own pieces may touch. The real
challenge comes toward the end of the game... Or take a new twist,
by Z-Man Games (ages 8-12)
- You're a gopher rancher in the scrub town of Gopher Gulch, building
your warren of burrows to attract all types of gophers. Complete a
burrow of a particular color that is bigger than another player's, and
their gopher moves into your new burrow; it stays there until it gets
lured away again by an even bigger burrow! There aren't enough gophers
to go around, so not everyone will be able to host all three gopher
types at once. When the tour bus will arrive, the tourists want to see
the types of gophers promised in their tour schedule. If your ranch is
missing those particular gophers, you'll get tourist complaints. At the
end of the tourist season, the rancher with the fewest complaints, wins!
(10 to adult) Rio Grande Games
- A clever tile laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is
famous for its unique Roman and Medieval fortifications. The players develop
the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the
cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to
develop the area will determine who is victorious. Game expansions,
and other editions... plus
for young kids!
10 Year Special Edition
The River 2,
Carcassonne: The Castle
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals Expansion,
Carcassonne: Princess & Dragon Expansion
Carcassonne Traders and Builders,
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers
Rio Grande Games
- Complex strategy game, to gather wealth and build castles...
- Battle to gain the most land space by strategically repositioning your
building pieces... Also
Championship Chess More than
just a game...
- All the tools you'll need to introduce chess to beginners or guide
the experienced player to more competitive play. Workbooks (or classroom
copies, with reproducibles) with coordinated video tapes, and even a CD for
the really little ones
- Take turns stacking discs
on the 10"-square wooden board; any stack with four discs is redistributed
in all four directions around it—often resulting in chaos!
Square Off (2 players or teams, ages 8+)
- Put your spatial thinking and strategic planning skills to the test
as you try to fill your city grid in the most efficient pattern. Do your
best to plan a few moves ahead, but beware: Shapes will be drawn at
random, and not every tile will be used...
(2-4 players, ages 7-adult)
- A new twist on the old game of "memory." Use a dry erase marker to write
or draw a secret code on the back of a card to trigger your memory so you
know its location and can make a match. A hilarious look into other people's
minds as you try to crack their codes and take over their cards...
(2 players, ages 7 and up)
- Abstract strategy game where the objective is to enclose and remove
the opponents pieces. It has a dynamic board that shrinks during play...
- Two ancient Greek architects attempt to form a line of 3 constructions which
are topped by the same type of playing piece...
- A little luck, a little strategy and a unique game design where there is
no clear winner until the very last move. Cards are played, Crowns are laid,
Cromlets are claimed and Dead cards often remain. Sounds easy, but wait.
Replacement cards may be drawn, Wild cards may cause a spoil, and a players
strategy may cause turmoil. Players never know when a Cromlet will be
claimed and timing is everything in this game!
(2-3 players, ages 8 and up)
- Be the first player to create a square
in your color on one side of the cube to win. Add a colored ball to the
3x3x3 playing area by pushing it into place, possibly pushing other
balls out of the way; or change the order of balls in a completed row by
pushing them one space then reinserting the ball pushed out of the row.
With two players one color of balls is neutral. Keep your eyes on all
sides of the cube to prevent others from squaring off for the win...
The ancient game of secret symbols (or from
- Create patterns and score based on the pattern's complexity. Great
for visual/spatial learners
by Rio Grande Games
- Construct the most advantageous deck of cards, with lands, minions,
riches and more. Don't miss the expansion packs:
Alchemy, and Dominion
(2 to 6 players, ages 7 and up)
- A version of Go for multiple players, Exago is easy to learn, but
the changing strategies make it challenging every time...
Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers
on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins
of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make
some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every
step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before
you are swallowed into the watery abyss! The latest creation by
cooperative game master, Matt Leacock...
Rio Grande Games
- Corporation incorporated, the galactic leader in sewer system
construction, is looking for can-do guys and gals to haul materials to
remote regions of the galaxy. Must be willing to fend off meteors, smugglers
and pirates. Experience working with aliens a plus. Earn copious cosmic
credits with bonuses for speedy delivery. Become a galaxy trucker. It's
loads of fun! The game is three rounds. In each round, players begin by
rummaging through the Warehouse, trying to grab the best components and
build the best space ship. Once the ships are under way, players try to
avoid snares and obstacles, while grasping financial opportunities, each
hoping to be the first to finish with an undamaged ship. It's possible that
you will end up with an insurmountable debt and finish your days panhandling
on the streets of Deneb III, but if lady luck should smile upon you, you
just might find yourself among the 10 billion richest people in the galaxy...
- The dice determines your moves, but your strategy determines
your fate. You finally land on a diamond and a ruby and two emeralds. But
can you keep them from being taken by the other players? This game
plays better than it sounds - and it's a visual/spatial playground!
Strategy different than any other game...
series of 6 terrific strategy games for the gifted child or adult! by
Rio Grande Games
An abstract strategy game for two players based on a classic concept:...
more about Gipf
The second game of Project GIPF, played under permanent time pressure...
Zertz Water. A fast, dynamic game for 2
players... more about
Dvonn Fire. A stacking game, played on an
elongated hexagonal board... more about
Yinsh Air. Players each start with
5 rings on the board. Every time a ring is moved, it leaves a marker
behind... (or from
Amazon) more about
The fifth element. A connection game: the goal is to link two
opposite sites... more about Pünct
- Classic strategy game. Also
Folding Go or
Travel Go. Learn more from Wikapedia
Gobblet and Gobblet
Gobblers (or from Funagain Games,
- A fun strategy game, as easy to learn as tic-tac-toe, challenging for
chess players, fun for the whole family... Also available in 3x3 colored
Jr. On the Go
U.S. Games Systems
- There's only one rule: match color, number or both. Simple for all
ages, but with strategic possibilities that make it tons of fun for all...
That's My Fish! by
- Shuffle fish tiles into a square array, and play your penguins to catch
the most fish. But don't be fooled by the fun theme - this is a tricky
- Place your hive, play your pieces, and defend your hive. It's like
chess, but not, a strategy game like no other. Easy to learn, complex to
master. Carbon version includes both Mosquito and Ladybug expansions. Also
available in full color
(12 to adult) Rio Grande Games
- Both a work of art and a game. Players move colorful blocks on the
abstract board trying to get four of their blocks from one side to the
other. Players may also move the board to change the board's geometric
pattern and move their pieces closer to their goal. The first player to move
of his pieces across the board is the winner! In this game everything
- Neat new strategy game - creating the game board for each round is 1/2 the
fun! This game is a gifted family project, and your family will enjoy it,
board game, also available in a software version
- An abstract placement game from internationally-renowned game designer
Reiner Knizia. Players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring
points, blocking opponents' tile placement, and trying to protect themselves
from being blocked by their opponents. Marvelously elegant and compulsively
replayable, Ingenious is an excellent introduction to German-style abstract
board games. It's ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious! In the
software version, practice in a single player game or against the computer's
AI and hone your technique, then surprise other players online with your
skill. Simple rules, quick playing time, and a clever system makes
Smart by Fox
- Use the set of commands (smaller set for more advanced play) to rearrange the
animals from the start to end position, drawn from cards. Can you
figure out the series of commands in your head, before your opponent?
Or play solitaire...
Only you know which color is yours; as discretely as possibly ensure
that yours is the majority color across the board. In turn, players
place a pyramid. These form piles; the color is determined by the piece
at the top of the pile. If a player plays a piece on top of a pyramid of
the same color, both pyramids cancel each other out and are removed from
the game: the pile takes on the color of the piece underneath. When all
pieces have been played, the player whose color holds the majority on
the board wins the game. A game of bluffing and strategy, Kabaleo
promises some intense and unique experiences!
players, ages 10 and up)
- Tactile game of strategy for two players. Ten wooden tiles are arranged to
form an ever-changing board on which opponents compete to capture the
largest number of tiles. Players take turns placing marbles so that each new
marble must be placed horizontally or vertically in relation to the last
marble played. By placing their marbles cleverly, players can limit their
adversary's possible moves and gain the advantage to clinch the victory.
High quality wooden tiles and beautiful red and black marbles...
the Laser game by Deflexion
- Take turns moving Egyptian-themed pieces having two, one or no mirrored
surfaces. Pieces (pharaoh, obelisk, pyramid and djed column) can either move
one square forward, back, left, right, or diagonal, or can stay in the same
square and rotate by a quarter twist. Each turn ends by firing one of the
lasers built into the board. The laser beam bounces from mirror to mirror;
if the beam strikes a non-mirrored surface on any piece, it is immediately
removed from play. The ultimate goal is to illuminate your opponent's
pharaoh, while shielding yours from harm! Add to your game with the Khet
Beamsplitter turning a single beam into three. Or try
3D: Tower of Kadesh
of Toyko (2-6 players, ages 8 and up) by
IELLO (Richard Garfield)
- Play mutant monsters gigantic robots and other aliens all of whom are
happily whacking each other in a joyous atmosphere in order to become the
one and only King of Tokyo. Players throw six dice. Each die bears the
following six symbols: 1 2 or 3 Points of Destruction Energy Healing and
Whack. In 3 successive throws choose whether to keep or discard each die in
order to come up with combinations that will enable you to win destruction
points hoard energy restore your health or whack other players into
understanding Tokyo is your territory. The fiercest player will be crowned
King of Tokyo and will end up facing all the other monsters alone!
A naturally flowing game
- Elegant design, natural materials and simple game rules are combined to
offer players an exquisite and original game. Each player tries to be the
first to place 6 of their pieces on their opponent's camp while ensuring
that their remaining game pieces are not left too far behind...
by Fundex (ages 6+)
Be the best rug merchant in the famed market of Marrakech. Roll the dice
to move Assam to claim your territory and lay your rugs, then make your
by Dream Green
- Circular chess, the old
- A way to learn chess without stress! The secret is an innovative deck of
action cards, each depicting a chess piece and how it moves. Once you become
comfortable with the moves and powers of each chess piece, you can flip the
two-sided board over and play standard chess. Includes rules for two
variations of playing using the action cards, and all the necessary rules
for standard chess...
- The Brainchild of Yale professor Donald Green and acclaimed as one of the
greatest modern strategy games, Octi is easy to learn and fun for
game-lovers of all ages. What makes Octi's patented game system distinctive?
Octi pieces grow - they become more powerful and agile. Each turn, players
need to choose between moving their pieces or improving them. Octi unleashes
a new level of creative thinking...
Oshi The Game of Influence,
by Wizkids Games
- An elegant dance of power, as players vie to push each other right off the
board. Oshi encourages you to exert your will...
- The fast, mindtwisting strategy game. Be the first to create a row of five
marbles: place your marble, then turn a section of the board. Fun and
challenging for beginners and masters alike... Also
(12 to adult) Rio Grande Games
- In 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered the eastern-most island of the
Great Antilles. About 50 years later, Puerto Rico began to really
blossom--through you! Prospector, captain, mayor, trader, settler,
craftsman, or builder? Which roles will you play in the new world? Will you
own the most prosperous plantations? Will you build the most valuable
buildings? You have but one goal: achieve the greatest prosperity and
Dice Building Game
by Wizkids Games
- Quarriors is the game of Uber Strategic Hexahedron Monster Combat Mayhem!
Players compete to capture the most powerful Spells and Creatures (in the
form of dice!) from the Wilds and add them to their collection. Players then
roll their powerful cubes and summon them into play to battle each of their
opponent's forces. Strategy is key in assembling a force that you can roll
- The goal is to establish a line of four pieces, with at least one common
characteristic. You decide your opponent’s next move. Not as easy as
it sounds... my 13-year-old strategy expert says, "I've played a bunch of
times, and haven't figured out all the strategy yet - that's saying
- Offense and defense at it's best. New classic wooden strategy game...
- Twenty-five wooden cubes are shifted up and down and side-to-side as
players try to line up five--diagonally, vertically, or horizontally--with
their own symbol, X or O. Think carefully--every move brings the possibility
of inadvertently helping your opponent win
- Get your pawn across to the opposite side of the board. But first decide:
move your pawn, or put up a fence to slow your opponent? The choices don’t
come easily in this carefully crafted game of mazes and madness for 2 to 4
- No single move can be made without careful thought, because just one ring
can make or break the game. Players take control of a territory on the board
by putting down the most rings in their color...
- The game of world conquest--features a tri-fold game board that is a map
of six continents divided into 42 territories. It's a game of strategy as
you battle to win by launching daring attacks, defending your territory, and
moving across continents with your cunning plan! Or try the futuristic
Risk 2210 A.D. or
Risk Godstorm - a time of myths and legends! Or try the futuristic
Risk 2210 A.D. or
Risk Godstorm - a time of myths and legends! Also
Risk Star Wars: The Clone Wars or
Risk 2003 Edition
Liberty Risk Edition
ancient architecture meets modern strategy
- Build a solid structure on one of four game boards inspired by Incan
architecture. Increases spatial awareness and critical thinking, as
players try to have the most stones visible from above...
fast moving rummy tile game
- Fun and challenging for both kids and adults. The object is similar to
rummy card games: combine your tiles in runs (consecutive numbers in the
same color) or sets (groups of the same number), with wild-card joker tiles
adding a bit of luck to the strategy... Also
Deluxe Edition Rummikub and bonus, the tile racks fit together to form a
Shift by ThinkFun (or from
- Escape before your opponent! Best-selling sliding block logic game is now
for two players. Every move counts in this race to cross traffic. As you
draw cards, you’ll need a little luck and a clever strategy to win. Should
you use your turn to advance your own Hero Car or block your opponent? The
shifting Traffic Grid adds a whole new dimension to play... see the rest of
the Rush Hour family in Smart
Hands-On Toys and Puzzles
Yard by Ravensburger (3-6 players, ages 10+)
Hunting Mr X! Where is that elusive fugitive? Scotland Yard detectives stake
out the player named Mr X! Action-packed, requiring strategy & accurate
communication among players. Close observation, clever tactics & luck
required. Heed the clues & try to catch Mr X before he escapes!
- Players race to move their pieces around and off the board, using
strategic offense and defense as they go. Virtually identical to the
version played circa 2620 b.c.e., made of beautifully finished wood with a
storage drawer underneath the playing board
- Catan is an imaginary unexplored island, and players are explorers and
settlers. The playing surface is made of hexagonal tiles that, depending on
their placement, create a different environment each time the game is played.
Settlers must use their resources to develop their island home, building roads
and houses to create new towns. But watch out! There's a robber on the island...
Expansion sets include
Settlers 5-6 Player Expansion,
& Knights of Catan,
of the Stone Age,
of Catan Travel Edition
Mind Games (or from
Barnes & Noble)
- The goal is simple - collect more gems than anyone else. But getting
there will take sound strategy and a strong memory. Tons of fun for
Mind Games (or from
Barnes & Noble)
- It's simple - create a shape with your hexagons... at the same time your
opponent is trying to block you, and create his own shape. And the
strategy really begins once all the pieces have been played...
Skybridge by Gigamic
/ Family Games
- Classic wooden pieces create a skyline full of towers and bridges.
Can you create the highest towers, and add ceilings to create the most
World by Days of Wonder
- A zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for
conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them
all. Picking the right combination of fantasy races and unique special
powers, players must rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of
weaker neighbors. Combine with expansions
Be Not Afraid,
Tales and Legends and
Small World Underground, a stand-alone expanded games for experienced
Small World players...
(ages 7 and up)
- Players place their cards so that the patterns match, aiming to create
point-scoring sets. Smartrix can be appreciated on several levels; for
beginners, it is a smart and fun matching game. As players' skills improve,
Smartrix provides deep and captivating strategy, combining memory,
risk-taking, tactics and a touch of luck!
Spy Alley Game
- A little bit of paranoia helps in this business,
what with secret agents from all over the world following you around the
board as you try to pick up clues to their identity and keep your own well
- Outwit your opponents by stomping their marbles before they stomp
yours. This addictive game is quick to learn but hard to master.
Outmaneuver other players and leave their stomper trapped with nowhere
(1 to 4 players, ages 8 and up) by Bezier Games
- Plan, build, and develop a small town into a major metropolis, including
residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas, as well as special
points of interest that provide benefits and take advantage of the resources
of nearby towns. Your goal is to have your borough thrive and end up with a
greater population than any of your opponents. As your town grows, you'll
modify both your income and your reputation. As your income increases,
you'll have more cash on hand to purchase better and more valuable
buildings, such as an international airport or a high rise office building.
As your reputation increases, you'll gain more and more population (and the
winner at the end of the game is the player with the largest population).
Buildings available in each game vary, so you'll never play the same game
(ages 9+, 2-4 players) by Plaid Hat Games
- Summoner Wars is the exciting card game of fantastic battlefield combat
that puts you in the grandiose role of a Summoner. Strategy shapes the
composition of each deck of cards and how they are used. Tactics determine
the effectiveness of those cards in battle. Call walls of stone to protect
you in combat and serve as magic portals for you to summon your warriors.
Call your forces forth and send them in a surging wave against your enemy.
Cast spells that bolster your forces and cut down those who would oppose you...
- Solitaire puzzles, or a game for 2-4 players, Tantrix is a strategy game
full of lines, loops and forms...
Ticket to Ride by
Days of Wonder, to
learn more, visit Ticket
to Ride website
- Cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of
various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting
cities throughout North America... Also
Ticket to Ride: Europe,
Ticket to Ride: Märklin,
Ticket To Ride USA 1910 Expansion,
Ticket to Ride Switzerland,
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries and
Ticket to Ride Dice Expansion
Tic Tac Chec
- Part chess, part tic-tac-toe - a quick, fun game, also provides amazing
challenge, and teaches some chess rules
by Mad Cave Bird Games
- Award winning strategy game based on the old favorite, Tic Tac Ku, with
Great new Twists. Play in 9 different playing zones at the same time, and
each player controls where and how the other player(s) can play...
- Tactical game of Totem Domination! Play the right sequence of action
cards to maneuver your secret tikis to the top of the heap. Use Tiki Topple
to send your opponents to the back of the pack, but watch out for Tiki
Toast--it'll knock your tiki off the board! Become the undisputed Tiki
Toss Up! (ages 8+)
- Pocket- or purse-size game of chance in it's own case, great for those
unexpected delays... toss the dice, try to get as many greens as you can...
but don't get stopped by a red!
by ThinkFun (2-4 players,
- Pattern recognition strategy game that will have you outwit and trick your
opponents with every move. Build out as many geometric patterns, Trangos, to
score points. But watch out – your opponents may try to block you to make
their own Trangos, so place your pieces wisely. The player with the most
- Zigzag around the board, placing your Squiggle pieces strategically to
form a path. Capture the purple pegs while preventing your opponent from
doing the same. Surround a peg on at least four sides and it’s yours! But
think ahead and choose carefully, or you'll end up with Squiggle pieces that
are too long or short
20th Anniversary Edition
- Easier to learn and play than chess; and it’s more fun and challenging than
by Looney Labs (or from
- Logic-based pyramid game, lasts only 5-10 minutes, but you'll want to play
again and again each time someone wins. Each player rolls the custom die to
determine if they will TIP, SWAP, DIG, AIM, or HOP their Tree of three
pyramids while they try to make them match the configuration of the shared
goal called The House. Roll a WILD and you can change your own Tree or The
The Game of Influence,
by Wizkids Games
- Build your own path, without your opponents steering you in the wrong
direction - or off the board!
Chestnut's Table Gype
- In his autobiography, G.K. Chesterton mentions "the well-known and
widespread national game of Gype" which he and H.G. Wells invented. Almost
100 years later, Eternal Revolution published Table Gype, an abstract
strategy game with a random element. Each playing piece is a six-sided die
whose faces are each of 6 "mysterious and significant shapes" that each move
differently. Players move their pieces from their home row to the row
directly opposite; they may jump any pieces, but every jump randomizes the
playing pieces that were jumped...
'n Proof learning games and puzzles
- focus on developing fundamental reasoning skills and higher-order
problem-solving abilities in logic, mathematics, social studies, scientific
reasoning and experiment, and the logical structure of English language...
(ages 8 and up)
- In this game of tactics, memory and bluff, you don't want to make points!
So be attentive, flip the tiles with caution and place traps to trick your
by Wiggles 3D
- Place your Yikerz pieces (magnets) down on the board and try to avoid
attracting the other pieces already played. The object is to get rid of
all your pieces. If Yikerz collapse together, those pieces are yours to
add to your stack. Unique 4 piece interchangeable game board designs
allow for many different configurations that create a variety of
challenges and suits different skill levels...
Mind Games (or from
Barnes & Noble)
- An animal gridlock of cats, dogs, mice and their favorite foods: fish,
bones and cheese lies before you. Can you arrange them while keeping each
animal away from its rival and away from its favorite food? If that was too
easy, hungry ants, angry bulls and fierce dogs are also introduced as the
puzzle difficulty gradually progresses in this captivating and amusing logic
puzzle. ZooLogic allows children from 4 to adult challenge their logical
November 20, 2015