Jati - The Strategic Game of Alignment


3M Company - 1974
2 or 4 Players


Jati is an abstract game of tile placement. Players alternate placing tiles on a grid. The first tile may be played anywhere but subsequent tiles must be placed adjacent to a tile already on the board. The players attempt to place as many tiles of their color in a row, either horizontal, vertical or diagonal, while attempting to block their opponents from doing the same. Points are scored based on how long of a row they are able to complete.

Additionally, there are special tiles with two or three lines on them. Players may place these tiles at any time instead of one of their own tiles. These line tiles multiply the value of any row containing them.

When both players have played all of their tiles the value of each row is determined (based on the number of tiles in the row and the presence of any line tiles). The player with the highest total is the winner.

The game includes two boards and four sets of tiles. When four players are playing they split into two pairs. Each pair plays a game on their own boards and the winner from each pair plays a final game against each other.


Jati was the last of the 3M games line. Only a very small number of copies of the game were ever produced (I have heard as few as 100 were made) and it was never generally released, making it one of the most difficult 3M games to find. It is also unique in that it is the only game in the entire 3M line to use a photo for its front box art.

Unfortunately the line did not end on one of its stronger offerings. Jati is actually fairly basic as a game but does have some complexity. Players do need to think somewhat ahead in order to plan their own moves and block their opponents and the multiplier tiles do add an additional element of strategy but overall there isn't really that much to the game. 3M even seems to have realized this in that they basically include two copies of the game in the box!

Its rarity means that Jati is pretty much the Holy Grail for for 3M collectors but for everyone else there are much better games out there.

5 comments on Jati:

Peer at February 20, 2009 12:18 said:
There is a project from the ueropean game collecters guild to find every one who owns a jati (and to count the existing copies).
So if you own one please got to www. e-s-g.eu / StartseiteEnglisch.htm and contact them!
Heidi Havens-Flynn at December 17, 2008 02:40 said:
I am glad one of my uncle's games is now getting some attention well deserved. I remember as a child trying to get into this game but found it difficult. Later in life, I have enjoyed playing it. My uncle signed my game.
Thomas Ashworth at June 2, 2008 17:14 said:
Just found one at a garage sale. It has a 1" by 1/2" tear off on the photo. One red tile is missing. 5 of the yellow tiles haxe an X (marker) drawn on them. Does it still have any value? email TAAshArt@AOL.com
Shelly Havens at April 23, 2008 23:41 said:
It's funny how after all these years, one of Keith's games has been finally discovered and acknowledged. Now deceased, he was my father, and I grew up playing many of his games, most of which never made it to the market. Jati was one I never got much into since I was so young when he invented it, but there are others he invented later which I mastered. My favorite was the forerunner of UNO Domino, another game he invented.
SheriBlueberry at April 6, 2008 14:59 said:
I am surprised to find in all the research I have done on the 3M Bookshelf Game JATI that no one credits the author/designer of the game. I have a Minneapolis Tribune newspaper article published December 5, 1965 about the designer, Keith Havens of Mound, Minnesota. It tells about the original Jati game board being a piece of stiffened burlap that was rolled scroll-style and packaged in a round tube which also held the tiles. He had to rework the game with plastic boards and box packaging before 3M would purchase it from him.

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