Tangles

Tangles is an abstract tile-based game for one to ten players. Tangles can be enjoyed to suit your mood – play solo at a slow, contemplative pace or with a crowd with the pressure on.

How to play

The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by laying tiles and forming loops.

Each game consist of rounds. Play as many or as few rounds as you like.

A normal round follows these steps:

  • All tiles are laid upside down in the centre of the table.

  • The caller declares the number of tiles in play, from a minimum of 2 and up to 10 (or more!). Each player randomly selects that number of tiles.

  • All players flip their tiles and play separately, trying to form closed loops.

  • Play continues until all players agree that the round is over.

  • At the end of the round, players score their tiles to see how many points they earned.

Add the scores from each round to see who wins at the end of the game.

The caller for the next round is the player to the left of the previous caller. Use any system you like to determine the caller for round one.

Scoring

For every closed loop, you score one point for the tiles that this loop touches. If a tile includes many loops, that tile is counted separately for each loop.

If all the tiles are closed, a bonus point is added to your score.

Laying tiles

Tiles are laid out so that sides match up. All lines on touching edges must be linked. Tiles are allowed to form enclosed, empty spaces. A player is not required to use all of their tiles.

How many tiles should I choose?

More tiles take more time to configure, and present the opportunity to score more points. Younger players will find it easier to play with fewer tiles. Low numbers of tiles also means chance plays a bigger role in how many points are possible.

Variations

Tick Tock

Any player can optionally start a 60-second timer at any point in the round, and the round is over once the time has elapsed. When starting the timer, the player says “TICK TOCK”.

Slalom

For each loop that a player makes, if it consistently passes over and under all lines that it crosses throughout the loop, the score for the loop is doubled.

Descent

There is no caller. Instead, rounds are played in descending order, starting from ten tiles and using one less tile each round until the final round, using only two tiles.

Trading Post

Players may trade tiles with each other during a round. Usually this helps players catch up to the leader. One tile is traded for another at a time, but there is no limit to the number of trades any player can make. When playing Trading Post, the timer is useful for preventing unlimited trades (“Tick Tock”).

Purist

After selecting their tiles, a player may only use tiles of a single colour.

Tiles

There are 100 tiles in the game.

  • 45 four-edge tiles
  • 30 three-edge tiles
  • 16 two-edge tiles
  • 9 single-edge tiles