Gobblet – SWOT Analysis

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Players : Arun Padmanabhan, Kevin Kraemer, Prashasti Baid

We played the game “Gobblet”, which was real fun. This is essentially a 2 player game, played on a 4*4 square, with players taking turns to make their moves. Each player is given 12 pieces. They pieces themselves are hollow and of different sizes. They are stacked into three groups of 4 pieces each. As each player puts his piece on the board, the other player can either choose to “gobble” the opponent’s piece if it is smaller than the piece he has, or put it on a separate square. The objective of the game is to get 4 pieces of the same color in a row. An important feature of the game is that each player can only play the exposed pieces first.

Strengths:

We found that the game was strong on many counts..

– This is a strategy based game and not based on luck. This makes it a good choice for those who want to play a game which tests your intelligence.

– Gobblet provides equal opportunities to both players.

– The objective of the game is simple and there are no complicated rules. Since the learning curve is short, the players start having fun right away 🙂

– Good exercise for brain as you need to plan many moves in advance and predict your opponent’s moves too.

– Each game can have only a finite number of moves. Since the games are short and intense, you can potentially play the game a number of times, with each player getting better with each game.

Weaknesses:

– The number of players is limited to two. The game could possibly be improved by adding another player with another color on the board.

– Relies on memory to some extent

– The game keeps going on till you realize you lost few moves back itself . So victory or loss not obvious at the time of the move it is actually decided (Is fun sometimes but then it is pointless play after that move)

– Although the game is strategy based, after playing the game with the same player for a couple of times, you start predicting the opponent too well. We felt that the game lost its edge there.

Opportunities:

– Can be played on a larger area with more squares ( This one was 4 X 4). Other thoughts on improving the game include having a third dimension( 4 x 4 x 4) and playing with more pieces.

– Can probably have a way to include more than two players.

– Just like Sudoku or Chess, this could be a potential game to keep old brains smart. It keeps you thinking on your feet.

– Could add a timer element to make each player move fast

– We could add a random element (say a dice throw to limit the size of next piece that a player can move) to the game to make it more interesting and keep experienced players guessing.

Threats:

– The moves could be decided in advance depending on previous experience and so could get boring

– Two players playing again and again with each other will start understanding the most likely moves of each other, making the game predictable.

Digitization:

Playing against the computer is a basic way of digitization. This could have many levels of difficulty based on player expertise

With a computer, you could potentially generate a large number of gobblet arrangements on the board and present it to a single player and ask him to predict the smallest number of moves with which he could win.

Overall, this was an awesome piece of game design and we would like to play it again when we get another chance 🙂

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