Area Code 718, The Game, designed and self-published by graphic designer JP Styles, is a surprisingly fascinating little abstract game.

The rules are simple: the game comes with button-like metal disks, each displaying a 7, 1, or 8 in orange, red, or blue. A few disks contain all three numbers and colors. On your turn, pick a disk and place it orthogonally on the board next to any already placed disk. You score points if you form a 718 in sequence in one color, or a 718 of one specific color sequence, or a sequence of three multi-colored disks.

I played the free online solo-game, and it’s a lot harder and more challenging than the typical abstract. When you don’t have immediate points to gain, you have to set yourself up on an increasingly crowded board for the next turn. I foresee a difficulty in the multi-player game, since you don’t want to be setting up your opponents for points, but it seems easy to clog the board with garbage; however, this problem would disappear if you play with a hand of disks. The multi-player rules aren’t online, so I don’t know for sure how it plays.

The inventor apparently lost his job 2 years ago and is now facing eviction. (source)