Micro Robots, a simultaneous play game inspired by Alex Randolph's classic Ricochet Robots, challenges players to quickly determine how a robot can move from one spot on the grid to another.
To set up, choose to use the black or copper side of the four game boards, then arrange them in a 2x2 square. Each game board shows nine dice, and once arranged the completed grid shows 36 dice, with the dice being numbered 1-6 and showing six colors, with each combination of number and color appearing exactly once. Roll the color die and number die to determine the starting location for the transparent robot, then mark this space with the transparent starting token.
In a round, roll the two dice to determine the target space; you can mark this space with a transparent victory token or simply have everyone remember which space they're trying to reach. Everyone simultaneously tries to figure out how to move the robot to the target space, and to move the robot, it must move orthogonally to a space that shares either the color or number of its current location. If the robot starts on "3-green", for example, it can move orthogonally to any space that shows either a 3 or is green; if you'd move it to "5-green", it can now once again move orthogonally to any space that shows either a 5 or is green; and so on.
As soon as a player has a solution, they yell out the number of moves, then take the robot and demonstrate the solution. If the solution takes exactly the number of moves claimed, the player earns a victory token; if not, the player gives one of their victory tokens (if they have any) to the player with the fewest tokens. In either case, the former target space becomes the new starting space for the next round.
If any player possesses five victory tokens, they win! If the 25 victory tokens are distributed before someone collects five, then whoever holds the most tokens wins, with ties being possible.
Expert Micro Robots players can increase the challenge of the game by placing the target victory token on the board, then rolling the two dice once again. The players must now determine a solution that first moves the robot to the space showing on the dice, then to the final destination.
The transparent robot in Micro Robots can also be used in Ricochet Robots. This robot moves like any other robot in that game except that for an additional move it can pass through a wall instead of stopping at it. It cannot move through the central barrier or the exterior walls, and the only target space on which it can land is the colored vortex.
Published by: Z Man Games
Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 99
Playing Time: 20 minutes