Having published jigsaw puzzles, International team began to produce boardgames in 1979. The first one, numbered G-201, was Gipso, The game of the puzzle. It was almost a private joke but the concept of mixing a boardgame and jigsaw puzzles is rare but not unique. For instance in 1966 was published the Batman Jigsaw puzzle game, with 4 20 pieces puzzles inside.
This game was negatively assessed because it missed rhythm and was to much based on random mechanisms. Furthermore, the rules are short and not enough precise. However, by modifying slightly rules as it is described in this page, we had fun playing it.
I found 2 different boxes for the game. The first one was grey. It later was replaced by a green one that showed better the game concept and material.
Opening the box
The box contains puzzle pieces in a black plastic bag, the board, the rules, 4 markers and one die. In the green box, the game parts are stored in a plastic tray. The plastic bag is not nice and I replaced it by a fabric bag. I also added a colour copy of each puzzle picture, used as a support for the players.
When the game is finished, the result with the puzzles looks great.
The one page rulebook is in 4 languages (Italian, French, German and English).
The game is in theory for 2 to 4 players but the rules were clearly written for 4 players only.
Preparation for play
The players seat themselves at the four sides of the board, each of which corresponds to a season: winter, spring, summer, autumn. Each player tries to complete the puzzle corresponding to his season before the others. At the beginning, the puzzles pieces are put in the plastic bag; then each player draw from it 4 pieces randomly.
How to play
Having established the order of play, the first player rolls one die, advancing his marker from circle n° 1 the number of spaces indicated by the die. He does the thing corresponding to the colour of the circle on which the marker has stopped, constructing his own puzzle step by step. Then it's the turn of the second player, to the left of the first one and so on.
The board circles
Red: Draw two pieces randomly from the bag.
Darkblue: Choose two pieces to put back in the bag
Green: Negociate: free exchange can be arranged with the other players
Yellow: Each time a player passes through circle n°1, even stopping there, he draws three pieces from the bag. If the player lands on circle n° 53 and only by stopping on it, he takes a piece of his own choosing from each opponent.
Purple: Penalty: circle n°3: choose 3 pieces to put back in the bag. circle n°45: each of the opponents take from him one piece of their own choosing.
Orange: Compulsory exchange: choose 3 pieces which must be exchanged for three held by the player indicated by the circle's number as follows: n°11 and 51 - player to the right; 34 and 66: to the left; 47 and 80 in front of him.
Grey: Compulsory risk: must roll a die. On 1 or 2 take one piece of his own choice from each opponent; on 3 or 4 give to each of the opponents one piece of their own choice; on 5 or 6, nothing happens.
Cyan: Voluntary risk: The player is not obliged to take a chance, but he may make a die roll with these possible results: 1 or 2 - take three pieces from the bag; 3 or 4 chose three pieces to put back into the bag; 5 or 6 - nothing happens.
Possible rule modifications
The game is long to start. The following proposal allows to accelerate the rhythm: on the green circles, the player take one piece from the bag before starting the free negotiation.
An encouragement to take risks on the cyan circles (free risk): 1 or 2 - take three pieces from the bag. 3 - 4 chose only 2 pieces to put back into the bag.
Only pragmatic and realistic exchange may be made: when one player have to give a piece to one opponent, he give him first one piece of the opponent's puzzle. When one player have to receive one piece from one opponent, he chose first one piece missing for his own puzzle and as a last priority one piece of the opponent's puzzle.
There are real free negotiations, especially around the end of the game: it's possible to exchange one piece against two others (at most) if both players agree, of course.
The end of the game is accelerated. After all the pieces are put out of the bag, the game enter in accelerated mode. Only the green, grey and cyan circle are usefull. On the green circle, the player take one missing piece of his own puzzle to one of the opponent. On the grey and cyan circles, a die is thrown and on 1 or 2, the player take one missing piece of his own puzzle to one of the opponent.
With 2 players, each player take 2 seasons but wins when the first one is finished.
With 3 players, one possibility is to remove all the pieces of one season
With 3 players, it's also possible to keep all the pieces and to play until all the pieces are taken out of the bag. Then the pieces of the 4th puzzle are removed.
With 3 players, when there is a compulsory exchange with the empty seat (orange circles), the bag is used.
Some price (2004-2006):
An article published in Jeux et Stratégie n°15 (June July 1982):
They did not like it at all.
A game for 2, 3 or 4 players
Gipso on boardgamegeek
Gipso on La Tana dei Goblin (Italien)
In January 2006, Gipso was available for 9 $ in Nobleknight games
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