September 11, 2005
And the name is: PÜNCT

GIPF, the central game of the Project, was initially release in Belgium in 1997. Now, 8 years later, the series is complete. And the name of the final game is: PÜNCT. Some will be disappointed with this name because it comes close to "meaning something". Others will not like it because it is too easy to pronounce. I have tried very hard to find something different, preferably something with a *U*, but I always got back to PÜNCT. It feld as if I had no choice. As was the case with GIPF: many have tried to convinced me to give it another name, but I couldn't. I had GIPF in my mind, and GIPF it was going to be. The same story with PÜNCT. I did not had to give it a name, it already had one. Full stop! Punkt schluss!

PÜNCT is a connection game: the goal is to link two opposite sites. On your turn, you either bring a new piece into play, or you move a piece that is already on the board. The more pieces you bring into play, the more possibilities you have to make a connection. But… each time you put a new piece on the board, you reveal a bit of what your plan is. The trick is to place your pieces in such a way that your opponent will expect you to do something different from what you really have in mind. As such, PÜNCT is not only about making a connection, but also about misleading your opponent! You’ll have to proceed subtle!

As some will have noticed, the graphics of the GIPF-box show a game in a wide, natural environment. The idea behind this design was putting an abstract game, symbolizing the human mind, in the midst of the 4 elements. The sceneries on the boxes of the 4 games that followed, TAMSK, ZÈRTZ, DVONN and YINSH, represented, respectively, earth, water, fire and air. That left one possibility for the last game, which is explained as follows in the rulebook:

This game is about the 5th element: spirit, in its broadest sense! That is, the human mind, the mix of conscious and subconscious, divine sparks of inspiration, the potential to create. And therefore, also, the sense for meaning, the sense for art, the sense for beauty. And, last but not least, courage! Linking the elements, interpreting what exists, daring to add a personal touch! That is why PÜNCT is a game about connecting opposite sides.

This explanation is not important; it is a marginal note and it has nothig to do with the game play itself. Nonetheless, it has helped me when I started working on PÜNCT, just like it had helped me when I started to work on the earlier games. It made them in their early stages less abstract; it put them in a context and that made it easier to tune and to combine game mechanisms.

So far the intellectual fuzz. Here a few trivial details to end:

Type: abstract game for 2 players
Target group: hmm... people from everywhere, from all ages and all times. (Things have been a bit difficult on earth. We will now try to convince some players from other planets and other times.)
20-40 minutes
Advised retail price in Europe: 25.00 €

Have fun with it.

GIPF, TAMSK, ZÈRTZ, DVONN and YINSH ® & © Don & Co NV. Content Kris Burm. All rights reserved.