Rubik's Infinity was created by Erno Rubik, the Hungarian professor of architecture most famous for his invention of the Rubik's cube. It is one of many abstract strategy board games he has invented. Rubik's Infinity is published by OddzOn, Inc.
The board is slightly slanted and consists of 4 channels with 4 slots each. The base end of each channel is curved while the other end has holes. There is also a semicircular groove (Marble Well) below the channels for holding pieces during play. A knob in the center of the groove can be turned in either direction to keep score. Starting position: The channels are empty and all the pieces are in the groove. The scoring knob points upwards towards the * symbol to represent an even score.
There are 18 marbles total. 8 blue, 1 black, 8 yellow and 1 white. The black marble is the Joker for whoever uses the blue pieces and the white marble is the Joker for the yellow pieces.
To move: Players take one of their marbles (blue/black or yellow/white) and place it in one of the four channels at the curved end. If there are already marbles in the channel, they are pushed up. If there are four marbles in the channel, the marble at the top of the channel will be pushed over into a hole that leads back to the Marble Well. If a player has run out of marbles, he or she must forfeit his or her turn until the opponent pushes over a marble of the player's color on the opponent's turn. At the end of each turn, scoring takes place. Each player counts up the number of rows of four (counting diagonals/columns as well) consisting of his or her color marbles. Each row of four without the Joker counts as 1 point and each row of four with the Joker counts as 2 points. The difference between the players scores is taken and the Scoring Knob is turned that many notches in the direction of that player. However, if a player scored using the Joker that turn, the opponent's rows of four do not count at all and the knob is turned the number of rows of four that player formed. These rules mean it is possible for players to score on their opponents' turns. It is also possible for a row of four to continue scoring turn after turn if it is not disrupted by a move that turn.
To win: A player wins if he or she is five points ahead at the end of a turn. This means the scoring knob will have turned an entire half circle and will be pointing at the infinity sign. A player can also win if he or she forms two "rows of four" of his or her color marbles in the same turn. It is possible for this to happen at the end of the opponent's turn. It is also possible for one the "rows of four" to have been present before the turn and left intact as another "row of four" was created.
Players determine who goes first. The first player takes one of his or her marbles, possibly the Joker, and places in a channel from the curved end. Players alternate doing this, counting the number of rows after every turn and counting score accordingly. If a player has two rows of his or her color or has a lead of 5 points at the end of any turn, that player wins.
- Use Of Joker: Playing the Joker early may result in a situation where it has advanced too far ahead of your other marbles to help score. However, holding onto it for too long may cause you to miss valuable scoring opportunities that are the key to victory.
- "Give" Opponent A Point: It may be advantageous to make a move that gives your opponent a row but sets up a 2 point row for yourself on your next turn.
- "Impossible" Situation: Try to set up positions so that your opponent cannot help but give you a point on the next turn, no matter what move he or she makes.
- Starvation: By making moves that push your own pieces off the board and keep the opponent's on it, you may cause your opponent to run out of pieces in the well. This means you will have several consecutive turns which can help you build a sizable advantage.
- Quick Come From Behind: If you find yourself down several points, try to form two "rows of four" of your own color to win the game instantaneously.
- Misere: Force opponent to gain a 5 point lead or force opponent to form two "rows of four" (or form it yourself).
- Board Size And Piece Count: The board size can be varied as long as the number of slots per channel is the same as the number of channels. The number of pieces should be reduced accordingly.
Rubik's Infinity. BoardGameGeek. 7 Apr 2006. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/10060 "Rubik's Infinity Rules and Tip's Booklet." Hasbro Official Website. 7 Apr 2006. http://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/Rubik's_Infinity_(2_player_game).pdf