OVERVIEW

In Mbrane, players take turns placing numbers on an empty-starting Sudoku game board with the goal of winning the most regions at the end of play.  These numbers grant the players power & influence points as they compete for territory.  Once all positions have been taken, the game board is ready to “resolve” to determine the ultimate winner.  Resolution is the process of awarding regions to the dominant player. When a player takes control of a given region, they take all of the opponents positions, and with them, their power and influence. This process can create a domino effect that alters the balance of power, and can lead to the player with the apparent, weaker position dominating the board in the end.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Mbrane is a set of wholly original game mechanics, with fewer rules than Chess and no special conditions.
  • Mbrane takes only a few minutes to learn and games typically last about 10 minutes.
  • Mbrane is an economic game—an exercise of pure strategy in a condition of diminishing resources.

 

GAME CONCEPTS

POWER: The first key game mechanic is the application of value to the numbers used in Sudoku. In Sudoku, these numbers are merely symbolic—in Mbrane, the numbers confer points. Sudoku are divided into Regions, and placing a number in a Region grants the player corresponding points in that Region. These native points are known as Power.

INFLUENCE: Under certain conditions, numbers apply additional points to neighboring Regions.  Simply put, if an number is placed in a box that touches an external Region or Regions, one half of the number’s value is applied to the neighboring Region(s).  These points applied to border Regions are known Influence.

RESOLUTION: In the course of a game, opposing players may have points in the same Regions. These Regions are considered “contested.” Resolution is the process of awarding contested Regions to the dominant player in the Region.  Once awarded, the dominant player is said to have control.  The player who controls the most Regions at the end of play is declared the winner.

 

SUDOKU
Mbrane is distinctly contemporary as the first compelling game to take advantage of Sudoku logic.  Although rigorous study of Latin squares dates back to the mathematician Euler, Sudoku first appeared in 1979 with designer Howard Garns.  The Mbrane utilization of empty Sudoku as a game board has several benefits:

  • Variation:
    There are over five billion basic combinations of 9×9 Sudoku. This results in surprisingly varied replayability for Mbrane.
  • Blocking Factors:
    Mbrane is an economic game in which players compete for resources.  The blocking mechanics of Sudoku mean that high value placements in strategic positions diminish rapidly.  The Sudoku logic allows for blocking and resource stealing strategies.
  • Expandability:
    Sudoku is not a single puzzle, but an entire family of puzzles sharing the same basic logic.  Some configurations include Sudoku X, Hypersudoku, Jigsaw Sudoku, and Samurai Sudoku.  Mbrane rules can be applied to any Sudoku configuration.