OK Play: Play Anywhere with Anyone
The word “OK” is almost universally understood, regardless of age or language. So Big Potato Games used “OK” in the name of their simplest game to highlight its universal accessibility.
OK Play is a game that borrows heavily from tic-tac-toe (or “naughts and crosses”) and also from classic piece-laying games such as Go. On your turn, place a tile adjacent to the flat edge another tile already laid. (Corner-to-corner diagonal placement is not allowed.) Win by getting five of your color in a line: either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Players might use up all their tiles before someone can make a line of five. In that case, a player’s turn consists of choosing a tile of their color already placed and moving it to a new location, as long as the removal will not orphan another tile by breaking the placement rules.
There are two things that make OK Play stand out from the crowd. One is its ultra-portability. Each player’s tiles are on an individual rod with a pressure fitting at the top. It would take a lot of force to get one to slide off by accident. Each rod clips into a central base, which has a carabiner at the top, so you can easily hang onto the entire game. There is no box, and once you’ve seen the rules, you probably don’t need to keep them.
The portability extends to the materials – OK Play consists entirely of hard plastic pieces. This opens up a world of outdoor play that most portable games can’t match. You could play in snow, sand, or mud, without worrying that you’ll wreck the game. Worried about snacks getting components dirty or greasy? Toddlers who rip or spill on your games? Not a problem with OK Play. Simply rinse off the tiles and let them dry.
The second thing that makes OK Play unique is the lack of a board. The only limit is that tiles must be placed with flat edges adjacent to each other. This rewards attentive players, who may place tiles off the edges of their opponents’ plays – or refuse to play in a seemingly prime spot, because it will give another player an advantage.
Big Potato Games has stated that one of the goals of OK Play is to facilitate playing games without sharing a language. The rules are so simple and intuitive, even a toddler can understand them. In fact, since the game is easy enough for toddlers to understand, this makes it a great game to play with them. You can slowly introduce them to strategy, and the materials are resilient enough to handle whatever it is that makes their hands sticky all the time.
The gameplay is not deep, but OK Play isn’t designed to be a deep game. It’s a way to have a simple game at your fingertips, ready to play in any place with any combination of people. It succeeds spectacularly at this goal.
OK Play was available exclusively at Target. For $15 or less, it’s a great choice for camping, the beach, or any messy environment (including a house with toddlers!)
Updated December 2018: The game has been re-branded as Cinco Linko and is now available from Amazon!
The Family Gamers received a promotional copy of OK Play from Big Potato Games for this review.
Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 8-122 (we say 3+)
Playtime: 15 minutes or less