Oak Games

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Oak Games is a producer of game apps for ios (Apple) mobile devices, with roots in the world of handmade obscure abstract strategy games. The site is a fun vanity site, and should be thought of as a blog with other stuff. The beating heart of Oak Games is the Treehouse.

What is an abstract strategy game?  In this article Mark Thompson waxes lyrical about abstract strategy games. There are online games (and puzzles) but the experience of playing these as computer games is not as good as playing physical games face to face with another player.


Blue Circles was the first game. It's a solid little game, worth playing a few times.
The popular Binary Key is like the old Mastermind game, although not inspired by it.
Snakebite is an innovative game where snakes wrap right around the board.
Chessball is a nice, fun, underappreciated app.
Hunt games are limited things. Diamond and Ruby is a hunt game that's actually very good, very replayable.


The handmade games have been pushed off the agenda by the apps, and what you see is an archive of some of the games that were made. I'll put in notes about the construction problems and possibilities. Photography can be tricky.

Will a rethemed Royal Game of Ur show up on the Handmade page?
The old leather Awithlaknannai and Picaria should find a place in there.

In addition to apps and handmade games, there is an emerging Social Games category. There are two games, Loonie and Stand By Me, that have a lot in common. They both involve larger groups, player elimination, minimal stuff-lying-around components, and they have not been tested. Loonie is iconic, starkly simple, personal, backstabby. Stupidly random, or intensely psychological? One way to find out. Stand By Me is a little more colourful, involves multi-person communication, and has a good deal of randomness.

.. and there's a new area opening up in the form of Javascript games on the website. The plan is to have a word game and a trivia game. The good news is that these will be available to everyone.