Architecto Game Review

The Basics:

  • For ages 3 and up (publisher suggests 7+)
  • For 1 player
  • About 5 minutes to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Hand/Eye Coordination & Dexterity
  • Pattern/Color Matching
  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Imagination

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • None

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

Architecto is part of the Architecto line, puzzle games that focus on spatial visualization by building structures out of blocks. The structure puzzles start out simple and gradually progress to more difficult and challenging puzzles. This allows Little Geeks and Big Geeks alike to sit down at the table and play the game at their pace and comfort level. The game also allow for easy free-form play and invites the player to build whatever they can imagine.

Architecto is comprised of 18 solid plastic building blocks, refered to as “Geoblocks”, of various geometric shapes. The blocks are solid, smooth, and of very high quality. The block shapes and the number of each shaped block are represented in the following image.

Architecto also comes with a rule book that includes 60 puzzles with clues found in the back section. Each structure puzzle lists what and how many block pieces will be used to complete the structure puzzle. The rule book assigns each shape a different color (since all the blocks are orange) and then shows the completed structure using the colored block pieces in the clue section. This is necessary because the more complex structure puzzles will have the blocks facing different ways and behind each other making them invisible to the naked eye or not included in the structure puzzle illustration.

The color coded version of the Geoblocks found in the clue section of the rule book

Game Set Up

To play Architecto, select one of the 60 structure puzzles found in the rule book and remove the blocks needed to complete the puzzle structure (found at the bottom of each structure puzzle illustration). Set these aside but within easy reaching distance. Additionally, , ensure you have a flat and stable building surface to play on. Some of the structure puzzles require balancing the blocks on top of each other. One wrong move and the entire structure could come crashing down. For this reason, whatever building surface you are using should also have a rough surface to provide some friction so as to reduce the amount of block movement.

You are now ready to play!

Playing the Game

Architecto is all about using your imagination to creatively determine how to build the structure puzzle using the blocks available to you. It is suggested that you first look at all the blocks from different angles, stack a few together for practice, and become familiar with them. This will help you visualize how the blocks could be used to build the structure and solve the puzzle.

The “puzzle” and the real challenge of the game is determining how to build the structure using only what blocks were given to you at the start. For the easy structure puzzles, the challenge and fun comes in the stacking and building. With the more complex structure puzzles, you will have to put some blocks behind others, balance blocks precariously, and determine how to make a three-dimensional object using only two-dimensional hints.

When building the more complex structure puzzles, feel free to use support structures to help build and keep balance. You might also find it helpful to build some portions of the structure puzzle separately and later add it to the larger structure. This “divide and conquer” approach works exceedingly well when you are tackling the more complex structure puzzles.

If your structure falls down, take a deep breath and try again. Perseverance and a calm mind will win the day.

Winning the Game

Victory is yours if you can build an exact duplicate of the structure illustrated in the puzzle. There are no specific steps or block piece ordering to follow. The only victory condition is that the end result must match what you see in the rule book when comparing the structure to the illustration using all the  pieces given to the player at the beginning. You need not be 100% perfect. It is up to the person playing the game to determine that what their hard work and diligence produced is satisfactory enough to declare victory or a temporary defeat.

Learn more about the game and read the full rules by visiting the official web site.

Prediction

Architecto is essentially the same puzzle game as Equilibrio. It includes the same pieces and rules. The only difference is the structure puzzles. Architecto’s structure puzzles are all 3-dimensional illustrations, which subtly increases the difficulty of the game.

I know this game going to be a hit with my little geeks. They have already gone through the structure puzzles found in Equilibrio, loved it,  and are ready for the next challenge! All I had to do is tell them that the game was played the same but the structure puzzles were different. Their response?

“No problem. I’ll solve these in no time.” ~ Liam (age 7)

“Can I play with both games, Daddy?” ~ Nyhus (age 4)

Is it possible for two little geeks to still be enthusiastic about a puzzle game after playing it several times a day? It would certainly appear so! Let’s see if the added difficulty of the 3-dimensional structure puzzles keeps the love or is kicked to the curb.

Final Word

Again, FoxMind has released a wonderful puzzle game!

Architecto wasn’t much of a challenge for my 7 and 4-year-old until they hit the harder structure puzzles. With the 3-dimensional illustrations, there is a good deal of block use that is not immediately clear in the more complex structure puzzles. The only clue the player’s have is the list of blocks to be used. Several times my little geeks were left with a piece or two, scratching their young heads as they tried to determine where it should go. This proved to be an excellent mental and problem solving exercise for both the little geeks and their parents, as the family circled the structure puzzle trying to determine where in the Dickens a piece should be placed.

The end result is an outstanding puzzle game that is fun to play with and a challenge to solve.

Gamer Geeks, this is a fun puzzle game but it won’t appeal to you as a “gamer’s game”. You’ll appreciate the game for what it is, a solid offering from a game company that cares about their product and it shows. I can’t give it a “Gamer Geek approved” endorsement because I just don’t see Gamer Geeks going to their game closet and telling their friend, “hey, let’s play this!” That being said, Architecto is an outstanding puzzle and logic game you will want to play with your little geeks or maybe by yourself for some challenging solo play.

Parent Geeks, stop what you are doing, go find this game, and grab it. The entire product is solid, top quality and durability; entertaining and enriching. There are very few games on the market today that give so much for so little and provide a blank canvas for creativity and growth. You and your little geeks will enjoy the challenge of figuring out the structure puzzles together and the free-form play as you and your little geeks create temples and skyscrapers that look like they were ripped out from the pages of antiquity or  fantasy and science fiction novels. Note, Parent Geeks, that my 3-year-old was able to play with the game just fine without actually trying to do any of the puzzles. Caution should be taken, however, when introducing this game to young little geeks as there are a number of choking pieces.

Child Geeks, put those video console down and play with these Geoblocks! You’ll have a lot of fun building structures and using your imagination in the process. Attempt to duplicate the structure puzzles or simply build your own structures! There’s no wrong way to play. You’ll be feeling like an architect in no time and raising epic structures that will fascinate and enthrall you.

I am exceedingly pleased with Architecto and am confounded that I am just now hearing about this product. Supposedly, this game has been around since 2003, a year in which I had significantly more free time as I wasn’t a father yet. At that time, my focus was on games that were of a totally different nature which might account fo why I was so unaware of this game. That’s my reasoning, but that’s hardly a good excuse.

Architecto provides a wonderful experience and is accessible to the young and old alike. All that is needed is a creative mind and the time to use it. In my family, the 3-year-old and all the way up to Grandma enjoyed the game. I cannot imagine a better endorsement than seeing such a wide age and experience range all sitting down at the table and enjoying the same game, non-stop.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Architecto Game Review

  1. Pingback: » Cliko & Tangramino Puzzle Book Expansions

  2. Pingback: » Meta-Forms Game Review

  3. Pingback: Father Geek’s Top 5 Games Played in 2012 » Father Geek

  4. Pingback: Tobbles Toy Review » Father Geek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *