Katamino

Team:Siddharth Chauhan, Emily Keen, Patrick Mize, Mukul Sati

For the second class, held on the 28th of August, we played and analyzed the game Katamino

The game consists of a number of pentaminos, along with a couple of free/filler pieces, which are to be used to completely fill up a grid. In the two player variant of the game that we played, the players take turns picking up their pentamino pieces, with both of them getting a standard allocation of filler pieces. Then, when the picking is done, both players embark onto furiously trying to fit their pieces onto the board, so that they have a configuration that leaves no spaces, making judicious use of fillers so as to fill up small gaps that remain.

SWOT

Strengths:

  1. Game might finish off very fast. Still, there is the potential for the other player to finish her game before moving on. So, she learns as well (because of the speed with which the game finishes off).
  2. Level flexibility: Can be increased/decreased in difficulty depending on the players expertise.
  3. If a child is playing, she might actually use the game for a different purpose altogether and use it to instead play around, created shapes, somewhat akin to LEGO blocks. The game manual actually had such a photograph depicting shapes that could possibly be made. One can also extend the playing field (literally :)) to 3D, as we did:

     An elephant, a deer and a pentamino skyscraper 🙂

Weaknesses:

  1. Possible to memorize pieces. This means that the game will have less re playability value.

Opportunities:

  1. As noted above, the game can be made more difficult by increasing the number of blocks.
  2. Can play with handicaps. By one person having a greater number of squares to fill? Thus, can be used to bring together people of different expertise levels.
  3. Possible extensions: Can extend this to 3D.

Threats:

  1. People can memorize pieces, as stated above.
  2. Choking hazard less, but could arise with the filler pieces.

Digitization / modification:

Digitization of this would be difficult. The game is expected to be fast paced, so the moving around pieces with mice is not very intuitive. Can add pieces (perhaps come up with them randomly) – ensuring that they fit together.

 A modification for the digital world could be to increase the board size to make the game last for a longer time.

Katamino for good:

Katamino is a very “spatial orientation aware” game. It should be used for rehabilitation and for increasing directional and spatial acumen in young kids, and could be transition point for branching off into more complex puzzles.

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