The playing equipment is simple: twelve precision-made laser-cut hardwood blocks, known as "quints," all different in shape but equal in size. Just as simple are the rules for the four different strategy games (more than four, really, since some have variations) and over 70 solitaire puzzles, all of which are played with the quints on any flat surface.
In "Quntillions," the title game in the exceptionally well-written rule book, two to four players (two is best) divide up the quints equally and take turns placing them so they touch at least one previously played piece. The idea is to place quints so that they make contact with as much of the surface area of the other quints as possible. Once all the quints are placed, the game continues as players rearrange the quints one at a time, again scoring the most when they find placements that mesh well. It can be played in two dimensions, with all pieces laid flat, or in three dimensions, with the restriction of keeping the "building" stable.
"Quintominoes" is a difficult variation of Quintillions in which pieces may be placed only next to the last piece placed creating some very strange-looking buildings. "Squint" is the only game that requires a board a 9x12 grid that comes with the set and resembles the game of Pentominoes. The object is to be the last player to place a piece that does not touch another piece or extend out of the grid. A three-dimensional extension of this is the game "Blockout"; players agree on a rectangular volume, such as 2x3x5, and then try to be the last player to place a piece inside the agreed-upon space.
The solitaire puzzles challenge you to fit the quints together to form various shapes, from simple squares to complex objects like the dog shown in the photograph. The solutions don't come with the game, however; you must send 75 cents for each one.
If spatial relationships are your strong suit, you will probably enjoy all the ways of playing with the finely crafted pieces, and you may even come up with some games of your own. R.W.S.