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Khet 2.0

(Khet 2.0 is the sequel to “Khet”. Thus this blog refers heavily to the original game. If you are not familiar with it’s predecessor, we suggest you read our blog on “Khet” first.  Click here to read “Khet/Deflexion: It’s chess… with lasers!”)

Browsing through the list of games being released in 2011, I ran across Khet 2.0.  Having been a fan of the original game from its roots as “Deflexion”, I shot off an email and acquired a review copy from the company.  What I got was a little different then I expected in some ways.

I’m a nitpicker when it comes to components, and I think we all know that by now, so let us start there.  The first thing I noticed was how much smaller the box is.  Thank you!  The original game came in a giant box that took up about as much space as “Civilization” or “Warhammer Quest”.  An absurd amount of room for one small abstract logic game.  I quickly learned that the smaller box came at a cost.

The board used to have this large chunky rim around it.  Now before you think it’s removal is a perk, it was actually pretty useful in game play.  Whenever a laser was fired and it didn’t hit a piece, it used to be really easy to see where it went off the board because it would hit the chunky rim.  Now, that’s not the case, leaving me to ask my opponent multiple times where it ended up.  This is especially true when you miscalculate where you think the laser is going to go.

Here is a side by side look at "Khet" and "Khet 2.0". It's hard to tell from this photo but the board really is smaller on "Khet 2.0". You can also clearly see that the rim has been removed. Other thing of note? The Egyptian theme has become much more prevalent in the new version, for better or for worse.

My only other component complaint comes in the way of consistent looking pieces.  The laser in this new version can move and thus is encapsulated in a piece called the ‘sphinx’.  This piece is not made of the same translucent plastic and thus looked out of place to me.  The face on this piece is also more clearly defined,  which my household agrees, makes it look pretty cheesy by comparison to the artfully muted faces on the other pieces.
Despite these complaints there are certainly some nice component upgrades occurring.  The painted squares that used to exist on each board to note where your opponent was not allowed to go have been replaced by raised painted symbols. A nice asthetic upgrade.

In this image you can see the new jackal piece. It's the one currently being shot by the laser, but because it's being hit from the front it is not removed from play. In the background you can also see the sphinx laser firing piece I mentioned. In this image the piece is the same translucent plastic, but that wasn't the case in the set I received.

More important then the asthetic upgrades are the changes in game play.  The original game had two obelisk pieces which did not have any mirrors, and thus when shot with the laser were removed.  This made the piece pretty worthless.  Sure you could use it to slow down your opponent, but not by much.  The new game has replaced the obelisks with jackal pieces.  Now that these pieces have a definite “front” and “back”, when a jackal is shot from the front it is not removed from play.  This allows for a much more useful blocker.
As was briefly mentioned earlier, the other big change is that now your laser can move.  OK, maybe move is a bad way to put it.  Really your laser can rotate ninety degrees.  This made a moderate difference in game play, but actually not as big of one as I first thought.  I was slightly disappointed when I saw this new feature, because I was anticipating that the laser piece could truly move, not just rotate.  This is something I hope they’ll consider when Khet 3.0 comes out.
My final opinion?  I love Khet, don’t get me wrong, but for someone who already owns the original game, I didn’t find Khet 2.0 to have enough changes to really merit buying the new set.  Mostly it was the same game.  However, with that being said, if you haven’t already picked up a copy of Khet, go ahead and grab Khet 2.0 instead of the original.  The changes they did make are on the whole pretty nice.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 12:51 pm and is filed under Abstract Logic Games, Board Game Reviews .
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One Comment

  1. Paul Allen says:

    I never played the original version of this game, but a friend of mine had the new version (Khet 2.0).

    I was really impressed by the simplicity of learning the game play and the strategy involved. We must have played 10 or 15 games in the course of 3 hours. I’m “hooked” and purchased the game today.

    I highly recommend this game !!!

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