Anyone who has a lot of board games knows the problem: how do I fit all the games in my closet? At By the Book it is now your task to place books and a cat on a shelf. But not in any way, but in such a way that the shelf is nice and straight. Sound easy? Luckily it's not always, but you start thinking and trying things out.
By the Book is a 3D stacking and logic game. The game of Ronnie Manor and Gilit Metuki is at HCM Kinzel was released and comes with two wooden shelves, twelve wooden books, a cat, a spirit level and 40 problems. The box has an inlay in which the letters of the books are printed. This makes it quite easy to store the materials away after playing. In general, the box could have been a little smaller, but the inlay makes up for that.
The game is very simple and starts relatively easily. The recommended age is also from 8 years, so that also fits well. The task cards have two sides. An overview page with the required material and, if necessary, additional tasks and a solution on the back. As soon as you have everything ready, you can happily stack and try to build a straight shelf. In general, there are the following rules:
- The top shelf has to be level - you can check that with the cute little spirit level in the flowerpot look.
- The top shelf must rest on at least two books.
- If the cat is present, it must be sitting on at least one book and between two other books.
Additional tasks on the cards can be that a certain book has to stand or lie, that a certain number of books have to stand or lie, or that certain books don't stand next to each other.
By the Book is a little game for in between. If you like thinking games, you will also like this game. The material looks valuable and the task (to build a straight shelf) sounds appealing. The first tasks are still very easy, but then the difficulty increases quickly, so that you have to ponder and try. It was a pity at the beginning that some tasks were very similar. We have two books of the same size, a few smaller books and no additional assignments? Then the two books form the outer columns on which the shelf rests and all other books are stowed underneath. It would have been nicer if these tasks weren't so close together because the solution was the same. Otherwise, it's all about experimenting and trying to balance the board.
So far, all the results have also been very clear; I haven't had a situation where I was unsure whether the board was level or not.