Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Globe Twister


Richard Champion
Eric Cousin

Act in Games / Blackrock Games

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Globe Twister is a travelling game. I spent my holiday in Norway last summer. Three weeks of driving, camping and sightseeing. The result: 2400 new pictures on my smartphone. All of them geotagged and automatically sorted by date and place. And my iPhone even suggests slide shows with the best photos. Although I can't remember if we visited the one or the other stave church first, my smartphone does. And so it is nowadays quite easy to reconstruct a journey and for example write a book about it.

But what would happen if your smartphone breaks? Would you still be able to share your anecdotes in the right order? Only a few years ago, many slides or pictures had to be developed, and only if you were fast enough to write your memories down, you would have been able to say where you took each picture. This is the story of Globe Twister. Or even worse: your whole travel log have become scrambled.

But, Justitia omnibus: every player has the same problem. The travel log in Globe Twister is represented in form of a souvenir photo that must be reconstructed or better puzzled from 9 puzzle tiles. 9 puzzle tiles? This seems to be easy, doesn't it. But the difficulty is that we aren't allowed to simply take one tile of the puzzle and put it in the right position, we have to program it.

What still seems to be easy at the beginning turns out to be tricky and frantic under time pressure. At set-up each player sets 9 puzzle tiles of a souvenir photo randomly in a frame and places a copy of the complete souvenir photo on top of this frame. Then it is time to change places, no player should remember any positions of the puzzle. Thus each player moves left one seat and is confronted with a fragment of the real photo.

In front of the new souvenir photo, it is time to really begin the game: at a command, all players lift the souvenir photo and begin to program with the help of programming cards. These cards are placed in a programming frame. So you can excactly determine which programm card shall affect which puzzle tile. There are 10 different programming cards, e.g. rotating a puzzle tile, or swapping to adjacent or diagonal puzzle tiles. But there is only limited time, because the first player who thinks it is enough for this round, turns over a sand-timer, and after that there are only about 30 seconds left to come to an end of the programming phase.

I think you can imagine that the result is not always the intention of the player. Like in Robo Ralley you have to picture what will happen after each program step. But there is no way out. In the reconstruction phase you follow exactly the instructions of your programming cards, whether it makes sense or not. And only players who have reconstructed their puzzle can win the game. Otherwise another phase of programming begins....

Globe Twister is a fast-paced, easy to learn puzzle game. Of course, it is no heavy brainer, it is more a family or maybe also a party game with its short game duration, the funny theme and the great appearance. Like many other games that demand visual thinking from us, a lot of people like the game, but a few others hate it. I belong to the first category, but still I also cursed the game from time to time, particularly when my first programming steps had negatively influenced my further programming steps. The reason for that is that you follow your instructions in your programming area in standard reading order. Thus, the result is sometimes not what you have intended. Let's say you exchange a puzzle tile from the top row with the puzzle tile in the right bottom corner and you have planned to rotate the latter tile before. Then you would end up with a rotated puzzle tile in the right bottom corner, but is is no longer the tile that originally was in that corner, it is the tile from the top row as the tile was exchanged before the rotating took place. Keep that in mind! Players are regularly not good in their first game, but there is always time for a revenge. And if you are a perfectionist, there is still a second puzzle in the box that is much more difficult to reconstruct... If you - like myself - want want to reconstruct your travel log, Globe Twister might be the right game for you.

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Copyright © 2018 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany