Jan 22, 2010


Vortago is a turn based strategy game that takes place on a circular board and uses marbles as playing pieces. Your objective is to get all of your marbles to the center and thus off of the board (called escaping) before your opponent does. The in game rules take a bit of getting used to and could probably be better written (there's also a typo in them telling me they haven't been proofread), but in a nutshell:

  • You can move a marble forward (i.e. toward the center) by a space or diagonally forward a space.
  • If you have a marble in the space you are moving to you can jump over it and continue your forward or diagonally forward move skipping any additional spaces that have marbles of your color in (this can create some pretty long moves).
  • If you land in a wedge that also contains opposing marble that is called an attack and a forward move pushes your opponents marble forward, but a diagonal attack pushes them backwards diagonally. Such attacked marbles are also disrupted for the next turn which means wedges they land in cannot be played in or through.

Ultimately it takes a couple of plays to see what's going on and fully comprehend the rules. My take on game flow is that in the early game you'll get lots of marbles out of there and late game seems to be more important and almost a match of tug 'o war with the remaining marbles in which you and your opponent are trying to gain the upper hand in being closest to get that last marble to escape.

If that sounds interesting then this game is probably worth a download of the trial version. The game itself is nicely done with marble animations versus them just jumping into place when moved. My problem with the game was that it didn't really provide me with any challenge aside from understanding the rules. Once I understood the rules I cranked up the difficulty to its highest level (of three levels) and was able to win my first game. In all fairness I played again and lost... but just barely... and that's without putting any real effort or thought in towards winning. I gather the game randomly generates set up each time and don't know if perhaps it would benefit from 'puzzles' that are preconfigured set ups, the AI is just weak, or I'm just that good.

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