Foremost, Konexi is a stacking game. The pieces are in the shapes of letters, but they feature specific sockets and plugs which are combined as the tower builds. Players arrange the letters in a circle around an empty center in any order. The game begins with the player who has the first upcoming birthday. They pick a letter from the pieces to start as the base of the tower, the only letter that may ever touch the table without penalty. Players roll a die that features numbers and an “any letter” side. They then need to, according to the roll, make a move which adds to the growing stack of letters.
While stacking is key to play in Konexi, the scoring actually comes from creating words. Letters that are touching and form a word get points, one for each letter of the word created. Any gaps in the letters mean that the word does not count. Here strategy comes into the game with not only choosing an appropriately shaped piece to build up the tower, but also gauging letters to spell out words (or prevent an opponent from spelling out something before one’s next turn).
The stacking element of the game returns whenever the tower falls. If a single letter other than the original base touches the table, it is considered a fall, and the player must take a three-point penalty subtracted from their total. This begins a new round, and the rest of the tower is torn down to reassemble the circle. Fans of stacking games may be disappointed to see their work undone, but word-enthusiasts will be excited for new chances of creating high-scoring words.
Players compete until someone scores a total of 20 points. With a combination of stacking and spelling skills, this creates a winner who has mastered both careful balance as well as maximizing the effectiveness of the words. Players should be mindful of strategies such as spelling out the words “I” and “a” or using an “s” to take one word and make something plural for a quick set of points.
Konexi is a game for two to four players aged 10 and up. The blocks are great for stacking even outside of the game, and word-game aficionados will love the strategizing, though it may be more limited with only one of each letter of the alphabet. With the success of merging two of the most popular types of games, one can only wonder what further connections are out there waiting to be made.