The GIPF Project is an award-winning series of six abstract strategy games by designer Kris Burm. The series is named after the first game, GIPF, and the idea behind the project is that the reward for winning each of the other games in the series is to allow the winner to introduce new pieces with special powers, called potentials, into a concurrent game of GIPF. However, any of the games may also be played individually in the normal way, and they have attained most popularity in this form. The potentials are available in 3 separate sets, the first containing TAMSK potentials, the second ZÈRTZ and DVONN potentials (along with pieces to expand ZÈRTZ standalone games), and the third and final set containing YINSH and PÜNCT potentials, plus extra GIPF pieces. The publication of the third expansion set at the Essen Spiel 2006 event completed the project, and marked the partnership of Burm with Belgian game company SMART, who now publishes all the GIPF games. In 2007, Burm released the new game TZAAR to replace TAMSK as the second game in the GIPF Project.
All the games take place on some form of hexagonal board, and usually the playing surface or a player's power diminishes as the game draws to an inevitable conclusion. The idea of introducing additional games that can be used to affect the outcome of the main game came from Burm's childhood, when he and his brother would "race" cars around a rug. For each turn, they would play another game, and the winner of that game would get to roll six dice to determine his car's movement, while the loser would roll just five.
As of 2010[update], the most popular game in the series, according to the Internet Top 100 Games List, is DVONN, although the average rating from players on Boardgamegeek place TZAAR and YINSH at the top of the Abstract Games Rank, and DVONN, ZERTZ and GIPF end up on the 4th, 7th and 15th place, respectively. ZÈRTZ, DVONN, and YINSH have all won the Mensa Select award.
List of games
Most of the games in the series can be played free online or against freely available computer opponents.
- GIPF is a game of pushing.
- TAMSK is a game of time. - With the release of TZAAR in 2007, this game was taken out of the project/series.
- ZÈRTZ is a game of sacrifice.
- DVONN is a game of towers.
- YINSH is a game of flipping.
- PÜNCT is a game of connection.
- TZAAR is a game of capture and stacking. (replacing TAMSK)
- Thomashow, Mitchell. "GIPF Review". The Games Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- Blessing, Ron (2005-06-01). "Review of GIPF". RPGnet. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- "Internet Top 100 Games List". Aaron D. Fuegi. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- "Abstract Games Rank, Boardgamegeek". Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- "Mind Games Past Winners (select year)". American Mensa, Ltd. Retrieved 2008-08-24.