Two players take turns to push rows of marbles around a small board, trying to be the first to knock six of their opponent’s marbles out of the arena. This simple premise has now powered 30 years of award-winning tabletop gaming in Abalone, which remains an essential title for players aged 7 to 97.
Since being hailed even before its official launch as the Best Game of the Year at the 1988 Livre des Best awards in France, Abalone has continued to attract high praise for its cerebral, strategic fun. It was quickly honoured by Mensa and recommended by the Spiel des Jahres awards, the most prestigious awards in board gaming.
A brand-new edition of the game launched by Asmodee last year has since gone on to claim Abalone’s 18th award, with a Gold in the Best Family Game category at the Imagination Gaming Awards in 2018. Celebrating games that promote learning and fun in equal measure, the Imagination Gaming organisation recognised the two-player duel’s easy-to-learn, challenging-to-master magic.
As players of any age can play Abalone on equal footing, the game is an ideal way for families to combine entertainment with intellectual development – the latter as much for adults as for children! The Asmodee title teaches players to plan ahead in a long-term strategy as well as improving spatial reasoning.
With 30 years of critical support behind it, it’s clear that Abalone can look forward to many more years of cross-generational success to come.