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How to Play Gomoku on iMessage

Have you heard of the classic strategy game Gomoku? Also known as Five in a Row, it‘s a game that‘s been enjoyed for centuries across multiple cultures. And thanks to iMessage, you can now play this timeless abstract game against friends right on your iPhone. Intrigued? Read on and I‘ll teach you everything you need to play Gomoku on iMessage!

Origins and History of Gomoku

Before we dive into the how-to, let‘s look briefly at where Gomoku came from. The game‘s roots trace back to ancient China over 1500 years ago. Earliest known references date it to the 6th century CE, where it was played on Go boards using black and white stones.

Over the next centuries, the game evolved and spread across East Asia, appearing in China, Japan, and Korea under various names. By the late 19th century, a standardized version had emerged in Japan called "Gomoku Narabe", meaning "five stones in a row".

The table below shows some of the many historical names for the game across different Asian regions:

Region Name
China Wu Zi Qi
Japan Gomoku Narabe
Korea Omok

So why has Gomoku proven so timeless? It strikes the perfect balance of being easy to learn but hard to master. Games are fast-paced but winning requires strategic thinking. You‘ll soon see why it‘s so addictive!

Now let‘s get into how you can play this classic game on your modern iPhone…

Downloading GamePigeon on iMessage

To play Gomoku on iMessage, you‘ll need an app called GamePigeon. It gives you access to Gomoku and dozens of other games right in your conversations.

Downloading GamePigeon is simple:

  1. Open Messages and choose a chat with a friend who also uses iMessage.

  2. Tap the App Store icon next to the text box. This will launch the iMessage App Store.

  3. Search for "GamePigeon" and select the result when it appears.

  4. Tap "Get" to download GamePigeon for free.

Once installed, GamePigeon will live in your apps drawer in Messages. Open it anytime to play games with friends!

GamePigeon has over 20 million downloads on iOS as of 2022. It‘s the top downloaded 3rd party app for iMessage games. The developer Pika Apps launched it back in 2016 alongside the initial iMessage App Store release.

Starting a Match in Your Conversations

Ready to play Gomoku against a friend? Starting a match only takes seconds:

  1. Open a chat with a friend who also has GamePigeon installed on their iPhone.

  2. Tap the GamePigeon icon in your iMessage apps drawer.

  3. Scroll down and select Gomoku from the list.

  4. A game board and brief message will appear in your chat. Hit send to invite your friend to play!

Once you send the invite, your friend just has to tap it to accept. The first move will be theirs, as white pieces. Then the game is on!

Take your time with moves – you can chat normally between turns. The current state of the game will be displayed in your messages.

How to Play Gomoku on iMessage

Let‘s quickly cover the rules in case you‘ve never played Gomoku before:

  • The game is played on a 15×15 square grid board. Players take alternating turns.

  • On your turn, place one of your colored pieces (black or white) on any empty space.

  • The goal is to form an unbroken row of five pieces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

  • If you complete a five-in-a-row, you win! The game ends immediately.

  • If the entire board fills up before either player gets five in a row, the game is a draw.

  • Pieces cannot move or be removed once placed on the board.

  • You do not need to declare which direction you‘re building a row in – any qualifying line of five wins.

That‘s all you need to know to get started! Now let‘s explore some tips and strategies for winning more games.

Key Strategies for Winning at Gomoku

Gomoku is easy to play, but hard to master. Here are some pro tips to up your game:

Favor the Corners

Placing your first pieces in the corner spots gives you the most options to build lines from. Corners are powerful positions!

Seek Central Control

Don‘t let your opponent dominate the center. Claiming pieces in the middle enables you to expand your influence in more directions.

Create Forking Opportunities

Position your pieces so you can threaten two (or more!) winning lines simultaneously. This forces your opponent to have to block one line, allowing you to complete the other.

Avoid Tight Clusters

Grouping all your pieces too closely together restricts your mobility. Try distributing them more widely across the board.

Disrupt and Block

Pay attention to your opponent‘s potential lines and work to actively disrupt them before they can get five in a row.

Beware of Traps

If a move seems too obviously good, think twice – it could be a trick to bait you into a multi-line trap. Look for the catch before playing into it.

With practice over many games, you‘ll gain an intuition for the best opening moves, smart responses, and expert counter strategies. Gomoku rewards experience, so don‘t get discouraged as you improve.

Why Play Gomoku on iMessage?

Gomoku has survived centuries because of its sheer fun and replayability. But why specifically play it on your iPhone‘s iMessage?

Here are some great reasons:

  • Convenience – Start a game anytime, anywhere with friends. No need to set up a physical board.

  • Quick Games – Most Gomoku matches take 5-10 minutes – perfect for playing on the go.

  • Easy Rematches – Easily start rematch after rematch just by sending a new invite.

  • Built-In Chat – Trash talk, react to moves, and strategize in your conversation.

  • Free – No equipment or purchase needed. Just download GamePigeon for endless entertainment.

The combination of an enduring classic game and modern mobile technology makes playing Gomoku through iMessage a must-try experience. Test your skills today!