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Hive (2000) is a traversal strategy game for two players. It's like chess in that the different Insect pieces move in different ways, but it's played without a board.

You play with twenty-two Insect pieces, eleven black and eleven white. You start with one player placing a piece, subsequent pieces need to be played so they have one of their hexagon edges touching an existing piece. The aim is to surround your opponent's Queen piece. But you also need to be careful to stop your Queen from being surrounded at the same time.

With each turn, you can choose whether to add a piece or move a piece. The different Insect pieces move in different ways:
  • Ant can move anywhere around the edge of the board.
  • Spider can move three spaces at a time.
  • Grasshopper can jump to the end of a straight line of pieces.
  • Beetle moves one space but can move on top of other insects.
  • Queen can move one space at a time.

This simple set of moves combines, like chess, to create all sorts of complex battles and strategies. Along with how you move your pieces you can also aim to lock in your opponent. One way to do this is to place an Insect on a protruding end of the pattern, as no move can divide the Hive this can stop your opponent from moving a particular piece.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Hive 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 11 weeks ago.
Too complex for your family? There are lots of games similar to Hive. Here are some easier younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Strategy game with Battle, Puzzle, Sequencing and Traversal elements. You can play with 2 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 45 minutes to learn. Although the basic idea is simple, understanding how each piece moves and the implications of this, takes longer. You also need to understand a set of specific conditions of how you mustn't split the hive and how you can't sneak into spaces that are surrounded by other Insects unless you have certain abilities.

Play Time: This game will take between 20 minutes and half an hour to complete. The game takes longer the more expert the players are.


This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
There are additional Insect pieces you can purchases.
  • Hive: The Mosquito (2007) - Takes on characteristics of any touching insect.
  • Hive: The Ladybug (2010) - Moves two spaces up and one down.
  • Hive: The Pillbug (2013) - Can move one space, or move an adjacent insect.

A travel version of the game, Hive Pocket was released in 2010. 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2000, updated in 2013

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 2

Genres: Brain Game, Strategy (Battle, Puzzle, Sequencing and Traversal)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Placeables

Developer: Gen 42 Games (@Gen42Games)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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