Published on December 19th, 2012 | by Greg0
Add Lasers To Your Holidays! Khet 2.0: The Laser Game
You’ve probably seen your fair share of board games. All of the little pieces, the money, the dice, all to play a game that is pretty much the same each time. Games like chess feel a bit old hat, fun and challenging and strategic but all too easy for games to be imbalanced. And besides, wouldn’t it be better if you could just shoot lasers?
That’s the promise of Khet: a two-player game that feels a bit like chess, but with lasers. There are a few types of pieces, most with angled mirrors and each with their own movement rules, and two semi-fixed laser turrets. Every turn you move or rotate a piece and fire your laser, removing any piece that is hit in a vulnerable location. The game ends when your king, or pharaoh, dies. The theme is fun, with Pyramids and Scarabs, Anubis, and the Sphinx lasers, and the pieces look and feel nice. You might face the occasional mis-alignment with multi-bounce laser chains, but it feels complete (although a Beam Splitter add-on is now available).
We like the strategic balancing, though it can take quite a while for the strange tactics to become clear, and it’s pretty simple for a sucker punch to strike even a decent player unaware. That means that new players still have a shot though, and we’ve seen some unusual and interesting combinations form. The starting positions of the pieces aren’t fixed, either, leading to some neat ways you can modify the game- a few different options are suggested, and they each require a complete recalculation of gameplay.
Like “en passant”, there are only a couple of weird catch-rules that might seem weird at first: some spaces on the board are restricted to one player or another, and repeating a board position three times in a row allows a player to declare a draw. Beyond those, though, the basics are straightforward. And it’s a fun real-world application of physics; you’ll have to get more familiar with how mirrors work to understand the game. Plus, it’s perfectly safe (and cats love it too).
Available now, it’s a perfect last-minute gift for any board game lover. Winner of MENSA and “Toy of the Year” awards, Khet is aimed at ages 9+, and expect to spend around $36 online or in stores.