Honeycombs by Gibsons Games is a lovely chunky pattern matching game with super tactile tiles! Yes! If you didn’t already know, Gibsons, the jigsaw puzzle pros, also publish a great range of family games!
Before I go into the gameplay, I want to give a special mention to the tiles and the canvas bag they come in. The 52 tiles are thick and chunky and lovely to hold. They’re made from urea so feel like porcelain but are way more hardwearing. Plus the little icons are super sweet (like honey!). The canvas bag is also really top quality and brightly coloured. It has no problem standing alongside the cardboard boxes on the shelf next to it.
How To Play
For 1-8 players, Honeycombs is suitable for players age 6 and over. A typical game takes anything from around 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the mode you play. And it’s super versatile because you can play Honeycombs competitively, co-operatively, in teams, or even solo!
Whichever mode is in play, however, the goal is pattern matching. Every time you lay a tile, the more symbols you can match when they connect together, the more points you score! The wee bee is wild so can connect to any other symbol. And if you can match all 6 symbols around a hex, that’s worth bonus points!
There are two competitive modes. Firstly, we can race to be first to connect all of our own share of the 52 tiles. In that mode, the winner is the player with the most points at the end of 3 rounds. Any icons that do not match and tiles with only 1 matching symbol won’t score points though so sometimes more speed less haste is the answer!
Secondly, we can compete by placing a tile from our hand of 3 tiles into one big honeycomb. In this mode, some tiles have symbols in the centre that will let you do special things like x2 points for connections to that tile or take another turn (or even steal someone else’s turn!). Points are accumulated as we go.
If competitive combing doesn’t trigger our sweet tooth, we can chill out and go full co-op and just play to see if we can make as many connections as possible together – no pace, no scores, just satisfaction from a well-constructed comb!
Honeycombs is a really lovely chill game that can be played in a way that stings! It’s an abstract game for sure. But, having said that, connecting the tiles together does feel like we are creating a honeycomb! As I said above, the artwork is so sweet, and I love holding those heavy, chonky tiles. Turning them around in my hand as I work out where to place it just feels lovely. My son loves competitive and co-op games. And I love playing games with him. So we can go head to head when he’s in the mood to beeee competitive. Alternatively, we can happily work together and chat about life, school, and everything in between as we play.