Go Behind-the-Scenes with SlideAscope!

SimplyFun Blog - Go Behind-the-Scenes with SlideAscope!

Are you a fan of Reiner Knizia games? If so, stay tuned because we will take a behind-the-scenes look at how our latest Dr. Reiner Knizia game, SlideAscope, went from an innovative concept to a fresh-off-the-press, tile-matching game for solo or social gaming. We'll also hear from SimplyFun's in-house designer, Brian Kolodziejski, who was tasked with giving SlideAscope its final look and feel.

Meet SlideAscope

SlideAscope is a fun game where players try to match the sides of their active tile with those on the tiles already on the playing field. When a match is made, the tile is collected, and the remaining tiles above it slide down, potentially creating more matching opportunities. Use your strategic and critical thinking skills to place, slide, or rotate your way through the grid to collect tiles and score the most points. You can play SlideAscope as a one-player game or with a group of 2-5 friends, ages 8 and up, in as little as 20 minutes.

Now, let's get to it and go behind-the-scenes with our latest Reiner Knizia game, SlideAscope!

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

The Origins of SlideAscope

SlideAscope titled Chain Reaction in its original prototype form-is a game created by the world-renowned game designer Dr. Reiner Knizia. SimplyFun acquired the license for Chain Reaction from Reiner and our in-house artwork designer, Brian Kolodziejski, experimented with the game to determine the best geometric shapes, colors, and materials to use. An exciting strategy element was also added to the gameplay allowing players to rotate one tile per turn to create a match. However, in return, they must give up one of their lower point tiles, so they have to decide if it's worth the exchange.

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

SimplyFun Drew Inspiration for SlideAscope from this Groovy Retro Toy

The game's design draws inspiration from the kaleidoscope, a scientific tube invented by Sir David Brewster in 1816, now widely known as a retro toy. This tube, which rotates and has a viewfinder, creates remarkable symmetrical patterns by reflecting and connecting colorful halves of shapes inside the tube. New pattern and color combinations are created with each turn of the scope. SimplyFun aimed to design a tabletop game that was visually mesmerizing, similar to the kaleidoscope.

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

The Design Process with SimplyFun's In-House Designer, Brian Kolodziejski

We got a chance to chat with SimplyFun's in-house designer, Brian Kolodziejski to learn about the process of bringing this fun tile game to life after SimplyFun was granted the game license from Reiner Knizia. Keep reading if you are curious about the game design process and how long it took to take SlideAscope from licensing to development!

What Do You Like Most about SlideAscope's Gameplay?

The appeal of this game for me is the simple mechanic of matching two halves of unique shapes and seeing what types of chain reactions would occur with neighboring shapes.

What Updates Did You Make to the Game from the Original Reiner Prototype?

We updated the type of shapes, colors, and materials of the tiles, included a frame to contain the tiles in the play area, and added the concept of rotating a placed tile to create more matches on your turn.

What Was the Process of Selecting the Materials for the Game?

We explored several materials for the tiles, including thicker cardboard, plastic, and wood, which would give our tiles a 3D look and feel. Each of these materials has pros and cons regarding the production process and applying the colors and graphics.

The tiles are close to Reiner's original specs, maybe slightly bigger. We also decided to design the tiles to include large, rounded corners. These rounded corners allow players to place their fingers between the tiles easily to pick them up and rotate them during gameplay.

How Long Did SlideAscope Take to Develop?

About six months, although there was a long wait for the factory to provide test tiles and frames.

Any Interesting Challenges or Aha-Moments During the Development of the Game?

Early on, we explored all types of shapes, including creating a set of icons/silhouettes of known subjects (i.e., bugs, beach items, leaves, snowflakes, tiki symbols, etc.). As the design process continued, we quickly discovered that these icon sets would not work for gameplay because the shapes needed to work with rotational symmetry. For example, if you had two halves of a bug icon and tried to match them up to create the complete bug, it would only work across specific axis of symmetry. With other rotations of the tiles, it would be very easy to match the head of the bug with the bottom instead of two halves of the head coming together.

In the end, we had to find a particular style of shapes that could be rotated across any axis of symmetry and still come together correctly no matter how the tiles were rotated.

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

More to Love About SlideAscope

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

1. Play SlideAscope as a One-Player Game or Group Game of up to Five Players!

SlideAscope is a healthy screen-free alternative to app games that players can enjoy as a one-player game, or as a group game with up to 5 players, ages 8 and up. Play SlideAscope in as little as 20 minutes for a fun Friday night in.

2. It's a Colorful Game That Looks Great on a Coffee Table or Game Shelf!

SlideAscope is a colorful tabletop game with mesmerizing geometric colors and shapes. Not only is it a cool design, it's also a fun party game with excellent replayability.

3. The Strategy Element of Rotating Tiles

Choose to rotate a tile to make a match in exchange for one of your lower point tiles! When should you consider rotating a tile? If a potential match is worth more points than an already earned tile, and sets up future matches down the grid, then it's a wise exchange!

4. SlideAscope is a Fun Brain Game That Helps Keep Minds Sharp

SlideAscope is the ideal brain teaser game for children and teens ages 8 and up to help with focus, and 'big-picture' thinking. You'll also find SlideAscope to be a fun and rewarding brain game for adults and elders looking to unwind and keep their minds sharp as they age.

SlideAscope Brain Game - Spatial Reasoning Game by Reiner Knizia

Whether playing SlideAscope solo with your morning cup of joe, a group of friends, or during family game night, this new tile game is the perfect pop of color and mental exercise that everyone will find irresistibly fun!

Looking for even more scoop on SlideAscope and designer, Reiner Knizia? Check out:

Read SimplyFun's Interview with Game Designer, Dr. Reiner Knizia

Learn How to Play SlideAscope

Shop SlideAscope

Shop all Reiner Knizia Games

Shop all Life and Thinking Games

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