Spotlight on Games
1001 Nights of Gaming
- Sk -
On to T
Card game for children first designed and published by The Skip-Bo
Company in 1967. In 1980 the license was bought by
International Games, the creator of Uno. A
commercial version of Spite and Malice played with a special
deck of 162 cards – 12 sets numbered 1 to 12 and 18 "skip-bo"
cards which serve as jokers, it is a kind of competitive
with little strategy.
If they are missing from your set, please
on-line version of the rules from the Internet Archive
or phone Mattel: 1-800-524-TOYS.
[rules for Spite and Malice]
[Two vs. Two Games]
- Slapshot (Phantoms of the Ice, Power Play, Team)
First published by Gamma Two Games as Team,
by Avalon Hill as Slapshot,
by White Wind as Phantoms of the Ice
and by Amigo as Power Play.
The White Wind game not designed by Alan Moon is mostly a tedious,
rather random affair of mind games and memory without much strategy.
May be more enjoyable if one happens to be a hockey fan, although
theme could be virtually anything, as Martin Wallace would later prove with
Empires of the Ancient World.
- Skyline of the World
Multi-player game from the Netherlands posits skyscraper building
on a bone-shaped island. Stackable plastic pieces are imprinted
with varying values and players take turns 3 phases: earn income
based on their largest group of visible buildings, spending to
add levels, spending more money to bring pieces from their reserve
to the active supply. The goal is acquisition of victory points
which can are rather few -- a score of four could be enough to win.
Points are given for building top pieces in the 1-2-4-6-10 sequence
and especially for doing so on the three golden spaces which are
evenly distributed about the map grid. For this reason the first
player has a substantial if not decisive advantage -- he can most
easily place the cheap prerequisite markers on the golden spaces
as well as be the first to afford to buy and place the "10" pieces.
That is, unless the opponents target his income, in which case these
benefits accrue to the second player. In practice, however,
targeting tends to be difficult, first because a covered player
gets paid every time it happens and second, because the income
calculation method gives a strong incentive to remain in the area
where one is already strong. An "adventure" just to cover a leader
is likely to be too harmful to one's own fortunes. Money is not so
prevalent anyway as to preclude serious bottlenecks at times and
sometimes a player even sells levels back to the reserve to gain
cash. Moreover, the play area is roughly bone-shaped and a
four-player outing tends to develop with two players clustered on
each lobe. In some ways it becomes two two-player games. There are
interesting ideas here, none better than the planning involved in
buying pieces for the next turn, but none are entirely original. On
the other hand, it feels that the features offered could have used
further development. Unless that can happen, interest will probably
be limited, logistics experts being the likeliest audience.
Strategy: Low; Theme: Medium; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: High
Deductive logic game by Sid Sackson. Challenging and amusing
game which is much like
without the fluff of the board.
Players are a little bit subject to luck of the draw, however.
It does not seem to be generally realized that actually this game
is derived from a previous Sackson design,
The Case of the Elusive Assassin.
Game about drug dealing in Amsterdam features rules
somewhat reminiscent of the Dutch game
in their funkiness, as well as in offering challenging decisions
and trade-offs throughout. Perhaps slightly marred by a
little bit of the kingmaker syndrome since when packets
are auctioned, both first and second place bidders get
to fill a bottle, thus tending to be too susceptible
to a player not in contention giving away the game.
- Smart Mouth
Word game in which players race to come up with a word which
contains at least give letters and which begins and ends with a
particular pair of randomly-determine letters. The letters are
small, plastic tiles which become visible by use of a clever, but
simple to use dispenser. These letters become points so everything
is very economical, perhaps too much so if one wants a longer game.
But you could always buy a second set. The task in general sounds
simple, but often isn't. Quick! Name a word beginning with "o" and
ending with "b". This had our group stumped last time. Really it's
a special way of thinking about words, difficult at first but
something you can learn to do. In short, it's a mind-stretching
experience, even if you didn't think of "overdub".
Strategy: Low; Theme: Low; Tactics: Low; Evaluation: Low;
Personal Rating: 7
- Snakes and Ladders (Chutes and Ladders, Serpents et Echelles)
The original versions of this game appear in second century BC documents from India.
Reaching Britain at some point during the colonization of India,
it finally arrived in the United States via Milton Bradley in 1943.
Originally it was used for didactic purposes as the players travel along
the squares sometimes using ladders which represent good
acts that allow the player to come closer to nirvana while the chutes
(snakes in the first British editions) were slides into evil.
This may be the game that gave rise to the popular expression "back to square one".
Has been published in many versions and there seems to be no standard
arrangement of the ladders and chutes. There isn't really any skill here
and the moralistic purpose has been lost in most editions, but it may
help to teach counting to young children.
Tile-laying game intended for players aged 5 and up is
not without interest for adults. Depicted on the tiles are
Chinese-style dragons, long and curly, in varying colors.
Players must match up like colors and snap dragons together
like puzzle pieces. The goal is to complete as long a dragon as
possible to maximize points. Of course it won't hurt to prevent
opponents from doing same. Each player has a hand size of three
so there is a decent amount of planning. Further interest is
added by the fact that while dragon heads are common, tails are
relatively rare, concentrating interest on how these tiles are
positioned. On top of this, there are three tiger tiles which
confer even more points. (In Chinese lore the dragon and the
tiger are the mythic creatures of east and west respectively.)
One particular play of interest revolves around the tiles which
have the same color emerging twice, which come in pairs. When
combined they yield a goodly number of points, so a player
who holds one might like to watch carefully for the other to
appear. Opponents who notice it appearing might like to void this
possibility by defensively playing some other tile on it first.
Tiles are nicely illustrated and made from fairly nice cardboard.
While one might like the interesting longer dragons to arise more
often, can make for a colorful and absorbing twenty minutes. [Gamewright]
Multi-player word game in which speed counts. As in Knizia's
individual letters are revealed and then! players race to be the first
shout out a word made from them. An additional wrinkle is that
also be scored by adding to either end of an existing word. Since
some letters -- X, Q, Z -- are harder to use than others, it seemed
that these might have been worth more points, but no, here we are
dedicated to the proposition that all letters are created equal.
There are bonuses instead for forming longer words, following the
And that's about it really -- there's not much originality here.
Probably the nicest aspect are the high quality plastic tiles and
the cool, thin tube to hold them. Perhaps these tiles would last
longer with kids than a card game? A lost card might be easier to
replace though. For my money,
this still has failed to eclipse
and at where the title of this one comes from, the mind boggles.
Strategy: Low; Theme: Low; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 6
- SNCF (Paris Connection)
Among the inventors creating Winsome games in the
style, the present one has been the most exploratory in terms
of pushing the system to its limits, for example in
Age of Schemes set in AD 400,
Samarkand: Routes to Riches
and the almost
This one, being stripped utterly down as far as
possible, is no exception. SNCF is the name of the French
national rail service and accordingly the board shows a
hexagonal map of France marked with the important cities.
Each player turn consists of placing five cubes for a
particular railroad or, trading in a stock share
to pick two others. At the end players score points based on the
quantity and quality of cities reached by the railroads for
which they hold shares. A key factor is that players each begin with
several randomly drawn shares hidden behind
screens. This feature has the potential to be rather unfair
since, for example, if a pair of players both happen to have
quite a few of a particular stock they can make that railroad
go a long way. Maybe other players can notice this and get
their own shares in it, but more likely not, or not in sufficient
time, and these two run away with the game.
The 2011 re-publication by Queen offers much higher
quality components, including changing the bits from cubes to
little wooden locomotives. While aesthetically nicer, for this
reviewer the result is worse as at the start each one of them
needs to be put into its own little box and at the end each
color into its own bag. Being that these train-lets are more
irregular and harder to pick up than cubes, set up and
tear down for this game can actually take more time than this
very fast game does to complete. Something should be said
about this. There is a more or less typical way to end the
game, but there is also a fast way: as soon as any railroad
reaches the southern city of Marseilles, which is not
difficult at all. In fact even though it's almost certainly to
only one player's benefit and no one may be entirely certain who that
player is, stock holdings being hidden, it's also quite
difficult to cut off such a railroad because although only one
train can enter an urban hex, each rural hex can support two. So
before two bites of a croissant you'll find someone has gotten
there and the game is over, maybe in as little as twenty
minutes. With this kind of playing time, it's difficult to
complain too much and the decisions are often challenging, to
be sure, as players try to simultaneously feel and fake one
another out. So nothing wrong, and probably a good
introduction to more serious Winsome-style games, but probably
not something to look to for deep satisfaction either.
Plays best with more rather than fewer players.
LMMM6 (Strategy: Low; Theme: Medium; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Medium; Personal Rating: 6)
David V. H. Peters; Winsome Games-2010/Queen Games-2011; 3-6; 30
- Snow Tails
Surprisingly, dogsled racing games are somewhat rare, though
comes to mind. That one, however, is more about managing dice
and different dog capabilities. Here it's a matter of more or
less equal sleds, just as in many of the auto racing games.
The means of propulsion is actually more similar to that of
cardplay determines the amount of movement, after which the
hand is replenished from a personal deck. But considerable
nuance has been added by allowing multiple cards to be played
and forcing each to a specific purpose, i.e. left side speed,
right side speed and braking. What's more, a played card
persists until a new one takes its place. The difference
between the left and right cards determines the number of lane
changes which must occur, and their direction. This is actually
a mild and painless form of vector-based movement (cf.
All of this may
sound easy enough, but here comes the kicker: each turn all of
the cards one plays must be of the same rank. As a result it's
not unusual to see players careening into the wall at least
once per game, or running into the back of an opponent. Damage
is handled very elegantly, either by reducing hand size or by
delaying hand replenishment. Physically, the game is very well
done, even if lacking the customary fabulous Fragor bits. The
track pieces are modular, permitting a large number of
different configurations. Most fun of all are those that
bristle with pine trees in diamond patterns, tricky to
navigation to be sure. Just in time for Christmas, these are
represented by delightful green wooden tree pieces. The sleds are
in wood as well, curved in front, while the huskies go
unrepresented except for the cards. Track pieces are
double-sided. The unique component is a sort of cardboard
paddle which stores the three current numbers. The point of
this is that it can be re-oriented as the sled turns, thus
helping to avoid left-right errors. It's a nice feature to
have even if not everyone will use it. The tracks are very
attractively illustrated with plenty of art just for flavor,
and also include some annoying and often surprising snow drifts.
Probably the biggest error players make is not planning far
enough in advance, though sometimes a bad run of cards or
opponent actions create difficult positions. As a result
it's possible to wind up considerably behind the leaders and
out of the running, even though there is plenty of race to go.
This can lead to a deal of useless waiting as
unlike some other games
there is nothing that can be done to a leader. but at least if
players are taking too long at their turns one can give them
the special paw piece, the gentlest and perhaps most effective
way of saying "hurry up already". Yes, the Lamont bros. really
have thought of everything. At the end of the day though, this
is another one for those who "get" racing games and not one
which solves the fundamental problems inherent in the form.
Gordon & Fraser Lamont; Fragor Games; 2008; 2-5
Strategy: Low; Theme: High; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 6
- So Spielt die Welt
This German book contains instructions for a number of games,
some published before, others entirely new. The reader needs
to supply the components.
- Socks in the City
What word begins with an S, ends with an X, has three letters, the
middle of which is a vowel and it's better when there are two?
Exactly, SOX! (What! you were thinking of another word?)
Alas, when I suggested this to inventor/publisher
Günter Cornett this game had already gone to print and
it was too late. That's too bad because "Sox in the City" is a
2-player game about connecting up sundered socks via the rail
stations of Berlin. When you have played
as many times as I have (over two hundred at last count),
you may find yourself contemplating the rail network players have
built and wondering whether it is anything like the most efficient
possible. Of course, because of the differing player goals, it never
is, but it's that exact problem that is at the heart of this design.
On a hexagonal, modular board which is different every time, 6 pairs
of socks are distributed and players race to link each of them.
The fact that only one player controls each link makes it more
difficult, but the fact that several stations are already connected
by neutral links lightens the task. While play looks simple, this
is deceptive as good play requires considerable board analysis
to determine the likeliest possible, as well as re-usable, paths.
Once play begins, the strategic gives way somewhat to the tactical
as there are corner cases when it's a good idea to block the
opponent, although often this can at best merely delay.
It's better to play positively in general.
Identifying the important already connected stations and linking
to them is recommended and after that, it's often a good idea to
build out from end points as these are the most likely chokepoints.
Socks themselves constitute barriers against joining other socks
and so must also be reckoned with. Often games seem to end with
each player having connected three pairs, victory going to the one
with the most widely separated ones. For this reason players might
want to give these socks first priority. Of course, ambiguous plays
that could serve multiple purposes as well as keep the opponent
guessing are always a good idea. The ability to count well and
determine whether a project is still worth pursuing or constitutes
a lost cause is also important. It does seem slightly advantageous
to go first and the evenly-matched might consider a switchback
start as variant. Production is fine, though rather unusual. Rather
than a box, everything comes in a red felt sock, such as one might hang
on the mantle at yuletide. The board pieces are not single
hexagons, but four joined together in that same sock-like shape.
The only complaint here might be that the sock tokens are a little
bit hard to see sometimes and three-dimensional cubes or pawns
might have been easier to use, if less atmospheric. The hexes all
feature photos from around Berlin and this is kind of a love letter
to the home city of publisher
It's strange though that one station is called "Under the Lime
Trees" when its German name is one of a handful of German
expressions actually recognized by most foreigners: "Under den
Linden". Several of the station names seem to be inside jokes
appreciable only by Berliners. There is no luck here.
Players who don't mind a strongly abstract feel and like to try out
their intuition should find this a worthy test.
Strategy: High; Theme: Low; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Medium
- Solitaire (Patience)
The family of single player card games is an interesting demonstration
of how many different combinations of cards are possible in a single deck.
Another Pachisi variant, this one also featuring
cards which affect the moves, possibly offering slightly
more strategy, although still quite subject to luck (of the draw).
- Space Beans
Another Uwe Rosenberg game about bean trading, but this time featuring
characters from old science fiction movies and television programs.
With only a dollop of decisionmaking, little information to regard and
almost no control, best played with no more than three so as to reduce
the intolerable downtime. May work okay as an introductory game, but
strategists will find little to fire their imagination.
By the way, the Space Bean who is in the round ship ironing his
sock comes from a German TV series called "Raumschiff Orion"
(Spaceship Orion) – the iron was part of the main
Uwe Rosenberg; 1999
- Space Dealer
This unusual pick-up-and-delivery game perhaps borrows its main idea
that of controlling activities via sand timer, which can now be
added to the list of the usual methods of simulating
continuous activity in a game: sequential action, simultaneous
programming, random order. The modus operandi is that a player
takes an action and then flips over a timer, which must run
out before it permits its next action to be initiated. A player
has two or three timers so downtime is negligible. The entire
length of the game is also timed, by a CD of background music.
Actions include moving one's ships, picking up cards,
producing items and fulfilling demands at other player
planets. As can probably be deduced by the level of
complexity, this is not a game of fast-paced action.
Most of one's time is probably spent waiting for a timer to
run down, but that's good since that is a moment in which to think
about what to do next.
On the other hand, that amount of time is not long and can be
problematic, for example, if one has a rules question or there
is some kind of dispute. It also means that nobody is watching
others' activities – at least not carefully – so
the integrity of play may become compromised, even if all have
honorable intentions, simply because mistakes in games are easy to
make and there is nobody to catch them. There is some strategy
because one can decide whether to spend more time developing
new technologies (by drawing cards) or to spend more time on
production and shipment. The science fiction theme helps to
justify the ship improvements, but this could probably have been
set in eras other than the future as well. This is always the
danger with the science fiction theme -- the suspicion that the
theme has been chosen simply to reflect pre-existing mechanisms.
Displays are well-designed and effective. This game pretty much
lives or dies on the timer mechanism as without it there is little
which has not been seen before. One also needs to consider how
annoying the constant press of time can be. Even though I consider
myself a fast player, just the idea that something is constantly
forcing me to hurry decisions does not make for a pleasant
experience. Still, there are frew enough German games which cover
the science fiction genre, so thirsty science fiction fans may
well see this as a saving rain. Apparently can be expanded to
accommodate up to eight players by buying a second copy.
Tobias Stapelfeldt; Eggert-Spiele; 2006; 3-4
Strategy: Medium; Theme: Medium; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Medium; Personal Rating: 5
[Buy it at Amazon]
Game about being the firm to make the most money outfitting an
international space station. Players acquire seven different
types of equipment payloads as well as rockets (which come in five
types including a re-usable shuttle) and roll a die attempting
to launch them. Rockets are rated for carrying capacity while
equipment comes in varying weights, provides various amounts of
income and extra end of game cash. Bad luck arrives in the form
of cards played by other players such as bad weather which if
launched in requires an additional die roll. Meteorite showers
threaten equipment which is already in space, unless the player
can roll a die to divert it with shields. Other cards include
special missions and satellites which can provide more income.
Boycott cards halve income unless bought off. The "event" cards
and good luck in launching seem key to victory so there is plenty
of luck here, but at least one can reduce it by spending more to
buy cards. May go on a bit repetitively with a lot riding on just
a single die roll for some, but at least there is great drama in
every launch roll. Player mats are nicely designed and work well.
Somewhat reminiscent of Nuclear
War as there is plenty of "take that" and trying
to guess just who is currently in the leading position.
Lift Off! is similar in theme
but less so in play. From Austria by Piepmatz Spiele.
- Speed Circuit
Game about auto racing fails to feel like it because a good race
is won by running around a track over 100 times, edging up on your
opponent and then zooming by at the crucial moment. This is not
depicted here. Presentation is rather drab and lifeless as well.
Older Dirk Henn stock market game may remind players of his later
Derby, which may paradoxically
be more familiar. Here eight stocks move upward via the combined
efforts of simultaneous card plays and rolls of the dice. Players
have very limited opportunities to buy and sell and thus maximize
profits along the way. Although not particularly realistic
in terms of the market – it is nearly always a bull market
it flows very well and takes up to six players. On the other
hand, because each player holds a cancel card and there are
only eight stock moves per round, it is probably best if the
number of players is kept to four or fewer. Also, sometimes
it seems that the player lucky enough to roll the +1 or the
-1 die result at the right time has an advantage over others.
- Spices of the World
Special commission by a major spice corporation is long
on information about spices and rather short on play
interest. Do not attempt without major revisions to the rules.
[Traveling Merchant Games]
- Spy Alley
It's the Cold War and we are moving around the board like it's
Monopoly in this game for ages 8 and up. Each player is a spy
working for a government whose identity is known only to the player,
one of Britain, France, Italy, Spain, USA and USSR. Your mission, should
you choose to accept it, is to gather the four items specific to your
country: the passport, the disguise, the keys and the codebook.
How do we acquire these? By landing on the right space of course.
Actually the game is more fun than it may sound so far because of the
possibility of landings which allow a choice of steals from another
player, the ability to guess another player's secret identity thus
knocking him of the game and the option of thus stealing an identity.
Free Move cards also help reduce the luck of the die roll. How much
to bluff and how much to play for the win will always be an interesting
On the other hand, besides the drawback of players possibly being out
of the game well before it is over, there is a considerably unfair
"blackmail" feature as the player just right of whoever is poised to
win must risk all to stop him. I suspect most games will rather end as a direct
result of good or bad guessing.
- Square Mile
1962 Milton Bradley game about rapid, post-war development features
an impressive collection of components including plastic roads, bridges
and grids as well as white plastic buildings similar to those used by
The Game of Life. It shares the play money used by that game as
well, including the Art Linkletter $100,000 bill. Although it looked
forward to the future in other ways as well including cash management
dilemmas and negotiation rules, finally it is dominated by luck in the
initial placements and in the start player determination as matters tend
to be highly processional.
[Periodic Table of Board Games]
- St. Petersburg
Game for two to four set in Imperial Russia. Players watch tiny
cost differences as they invest as efficiently as possible,
being able, for example, to shave off a point for each owned card
matching the one being purchased. Cards mostly generate either
income or victory points, with a minimal few providing special
abilities which supersede the usaul rules. And basically this is
it, apart from the vagaries of purchasing order and a sub-game
of collecting the widest set of aristocrat cards. Morever,
this stripped down system is really just a card game, the board
and oddly-shaped wooden pieces being superfluous. Simplicity,
visual appeal and sufficient strategy probably mean there is
something here for everyone, the only small complaint being that
it could be about anything. Still, it tries by naming some cards
after Russian landmarks, and with the artwork. This game feels
like it's in the same space as
and it's the former that feels slightly more fun, even though
this is possibly the fairer game. The fun buildings with special
powers just don't have the same kind of presence in this one.
Strategically, the end game aristocrat points appear to be
very important in the four-player version and not so much with
two. Invented (under pseudonym) by Hans-im-Glück president,
[Buy it at Amazon]
- Star Traders
A "train game" in a spaceship science fiction setting.
Players compete to complete contracts and are able to place
stations on systems instead of buying routes. Event cards
play an important role as do each player's special ability given
at the start of the game. The single most interesting feature
here is that a player may travel by one of several different
routes, but whether the trip is actually completed depends
on a die roll made for each segment. As longer segments are
more difficult to make, this introduces interesting strategic
considerations, especially when one considers what other players
may be able to do before one's next turn. Quite enjoyable
overall, with possibly some balancing of the special abilities
needed. [Traveling Merchant Games]
[Steve Jackson Games]
- Starbase Jeff
A pipe-connection style game combined with a gambling game does
not really work due to the overpowering nature of luck of the
draw in the system.
- Station Master
Multi-player card game by Chris Baylis reminds of Knizia titles
Arena and Royal Turf,
the shared element being that players bet on various contenders
even as they are also influencing their progress. Here locomotives
rather than monsters or race horses command the stage (but even
less convincingly). Each locomotive has a prescribed length,
which when players have chosen to add that number of car cards,
signifies that it is to be scored. The value is determined by
the sum of the cards, which can be positive or negative. Meanwhile
players have been placing hidden bets of various sizes which pay
off at this time. There are a great number of tactics available,
but strategically there is the choice between trying to collect
a lot of points versus spiking others with negative ones. Both
plans require cooperation from those that one is competing
against. Point totals get rather high and must be tracked on
paper; devising a way to keep them lower and tracking it with
chips might have been preferable. More objectionable is the card
deck that isn't really balanced considering its "special effects"
cards which are quite powerful and which I have endured an entire
game without drawing. Play probably lasts a bit longer than
feels right as well. This kind of system, involving group-think
and bluff can work well, but could have been better realized,
as it has been in other games.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: Low; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Low
- Stay Alive
Simple game from 1978 for 2-4 in which players place their
marbles on a 7x7 grid. At the end of each row is a lever which
you pull or push. When you move the lever some of the grids open
up causing the marbles to drop through. The last player with a
marble left wins. Too large a level of randomness, one doesn't
know how safe a space is, will discourage replays.
This, the third edition of
Age of Steam,
has a new name primarily because of a legal dispute between original
designer Martin Wallace and developer John Bohrer (Winsome
Games) over the right to use the original title.
This was eventually settled via name change
(the complications caused by many third party expansion kits
helping this to happen)
such that the second edition continued to be published under the
name by Eagle Games with the new one being put out by Mayfair.
At the time of this writing it is this edition which is rated
higher on the
site, albeit only slightly so. Well, how different is it?
Different enough that so that the previous expansions,
unless they provide extras about how do it, no longer work.
But similar enough so that the overall feeling is the same.
Actually there are two separate game styles here, one more
accessible and one more involved and also two maps, a USA one
for 3-4 players and a Europe one for 4-5. The six-player
option is reserved for subsequent expansion kits.
A significant rule is picking player order via
auction on the first turn, paid for by reducing position
on the income track. Subsequent turn orders depend, as in
on which special action a player chooses. These include
play first, move goods first, build extra track, build
first, add goods to a city, increase your transport ability
or convert a town to a city. As before track is built via
hexagonal tiles and goods in the form of cubes are transported
to same-colored destinations, earning for the players owning
the tracks used. Each turn after building track players either
move one cube or increment the number of links over which they
can move goods. Play finishes after a fixed number of turns.
Victory is via points which are granted for income levels plus
The standard version changes these basics by forcing more
planning. There is only one point per turn when a player can
get more money and so must figure out in advance the amount
needed. In addition, maintenance fees are required.
While now undoubtedly more streamlined, both versions are very much a
case of tweaking for the fans; those who didn't cotton to the
original won't be satisfied with this version either. One
question to consider: is it fair for railroad games to get
exclusive claim to these titles? Were there not other
significant uses of steam? cooking, electricity
generation and steamships constituting only three.
LMHH5 (Strategy: Low; Theme: Medium; Tactics: High; Evaluation: High Personal Rating: 5)
- Stephensons Rocket
Reiner Knizia game reminiscent of Acquire is set in the
early days of English railroading. Some claim it to be
a "railroad game", since in fact it does include railroads,
and, invitingly, in a setting not previously visited:
George Stephenson's early efforts. This is overlooking a
a few minor details: (1) mergers allow
a smaller company to swallow a larger one; (2) all stock
shares cost the same amount, i.e. zero pounds sterling,
regardless of company size and success; (3) in a merger,
odd shares are unrealistically lost, (4) anyone can buy
into a company and immediately start determining its
direction, (5) train lines often go in nonsensical directions
that would never even be considered, much less built, in
real life, (6) stations are built in the middle of nowhere
and are generally uncoordinated with railroad lines, (7)
players receive money for being the most to build into
others' stations which does not seem to reflect any reality.
Obviously the theme has not captured me, nor do the
mechanics which I have mostly seen before.
- Sterne Stehen Richtig, Die (The Stars Are Right)
Usually horror-themed games inspired by the writings of H.P.
Lovecraft have the players fighting against alien horrors, but
this one turns that on its head: the winner must summon an
evil Great One to destroy the earth. Luckily none of the
awful events that would attend such a calamity are actually
depicted in the game. Here a view of the heavens is
represented by a 5x5 arrangement of tiles showing stars, our
sun, phases of the moon and other cosmic bodies. Players hold cards
one of whose functions is to permit tile flips and
re-arrangements. The purpose is to make the tiles match an
arrangement which is the second function of a hand
card, presumably a different card than the one being
used to make the alteration. This is one of the problems players
face: the card one wants to match might be the very one that
can do the job, one that sometimes makes taking a turn take a
while. The third card function are the creature depictions,
each associated with a special power. Thus à la
and other such affairs, players are constantly building up new
capabilities. Wisely this does not last too long; a mere ten
points is sufficient to achieve victory, which translates to
just a few cards, their exact number depending on whether the
player has concentrated on weaker, low-point cards or the
more powerful, high-value variety. Besides the advantage held
by earlier players, the annoying artifact here is the deadness
of the downtime between turns. Because the grid generally
changes so much between turns, it's often useless to plan
anything. Of course as there has been no planning, turns tend
to take longer than they ought or otherwise would as well.
There's also not much ability to deliberately stop a leader,
but it's certainly very possible to dramatically disrupt
someone's plans completely by accident.
It's an uncharacteristically sterile Cthulhoid affair
thematically, with no sanity check in sight. It might as well
be a pure abstract for the most part, though some may enjoy
the comical creature cards. The tile illustrations are also nicely
realized. (These comments apply to the Steve Jackson Games
edition.) Perhaps this is another of those games that permits
four but is actually only good for two.
LLMH5 (Strategy: Medium; Theme: Low; Tactics: Low; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 5)
Klaus Westerhoff; Pegasus-2008/Steve Jackson Games-2009; 2-4
[Buy it at Amazon]
- Sternenfahrer von Catan, Die (The Starfarers of Catan)
"The Starfarers of Catan" takes the popular series into outer space
colonization complete with alien races and pirates. Exceedingly
attractive plastic pieces and components which snap together and are
shakeable are part of the fun here as are encounter cards which feature
two or three choices in a mini-adventure and combat with non-players.
Curious that in all of this space age theming, the game still comes
with a very antique-looking pair of wooden dice. There is a lot of
luck involved in playing this game however as each turn each player
receives a free trade goods card which may or may not be what one
needs; there is a lot of luck in what kind of planets one finds; and
plenty of luck in which encounter cards the player draws. The result
is a game which does an excellent job in terms of feeling fun and
experience, but is altogether too random to be taken seriously. Everyone
should play and enjoy it several times, but as the randomness becomes
apparent, attraction eventually pales.
Topic is the stars in the twelve
stellar constellations that constitute the Zodiac, but remains essentially
an abstract. Largely a game of bluffing and advance planning,
it moves along quite satisfyingly and completes at just the right
time. Very nicely made plastic star pieces add considerably to the
Tom Schoeps; Goldsieber-1995; 3-5; 30
- Sternenschiff Catan (Starship Catan, Objectif Catane, De ruimteschepen van Catan)
Two-player game set in the same science fiction universe as
The Starfarers of Catan.
A player's Catanian area of development is his space ship which has
holds for the five different commodities as well as for a sixth,
scientific development, which works in much the same way. Once
again players roll a "production die" to generate items, but now
the randomness has been tightened as there are only three possible
results. New production and other benefits are achieved by space
voyages, realized each turn by having the opponent reveal several
cards from one of five face down decks. The opponent's
participation is important because some cards represent pirates
whose strength is unknown until combat is attempted. Other cards
permit colonization, marketplaces and other benefits. As items
accrue, players spend to acquire advantages including more speed
and more combat ability. As is customary for two-player games, there
is no trading, but there is a card which permits forced trades.
The two ships begin with different advantages so players can enjoy
trying both sides and always have the dilemma of whether to
reinforce their advantage or try to become more balanced. There is
a memory element in relation to the card decks, but as it's
relatively small, one forgives it in the context of so much else
that is really pretty wonderful, such as the nice components, the
attractive science fictiony display and the nice attention to
theme. Moreover, the balance and deck diving problems of
The Settlers of Catan Card Game
are entirely absent. The only other issues might be a slight one of
length -- a bit too much? -- and some difficulty in catching up to
a leader. These are probably easily addressed by slight rules
changes if truly issues at all. Otherwise this is highly
recommended for virtually all audiences at least 8 and up and I
wish I hadn't believed those who assured me I wouldn't
like this and instead tried it out long ago.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: High; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Medium; Personal Rating: 7
Klaus Teuber; Kosmos/Mayfair; 2001; 2
[Buy it at Amazon]
Trick-taking card game in which each player chooses a misery suit
to avoid. Because there is no requirement to follow suit, any player
who looks like he is winning the trick is liable to receive low cards
in his color, in other words, there is a lot of sticking going on.
This one is wilder than a lot of other trick-taking games and probably
not as satisfying overall as, say,
David & Goliath,
but is popular with those who like the "take that!" nature of
Players who stick with the game will find continued study of these
weird mechanics rewarding as more and more nuances become apparent.
Title means "to jibe or make snide remarks", but it is a close pun with
Stich which means "trick".
"Trick Master" joins the group of trick-taking card games like
in having fun with the German word Stich, meaning
"trick", but on which one could also get stuck. While we still
play those two, this one has stuck like few others. Since
acquiring it just eight months ago it has already been
welcomed to the table no fewer than sixteen times, and this
in competition with a great many new games arriving from week
to week. So how has Friedemann Friese managed to cook up
something so good? There's a deck of sixty cards numbered 1 to
15 in four suits: fans, coins, koi and gates, some of them
face cards showing samurai and ladies. Why the Japanese theme?
No particular reason, but it's something different and they look nice.
In addition there are sixty rules cards divided into three
categories: those that create trumps, those that change the
fundamental rules and those that alter the normal scoring of
one trick equals one point. Each player always has a hand of
three of these and at the start chooses one to to apply
to the current hand and they are simultaneously revealed.
To this we have tended to apply a slight modification, though
not always. Because it's pretty common that some rules cards
render others invalid we instead play the rules cards one by
one and face up. This leads to less imbalance and can make for
intriguing choices by the latter players as they seek to skew
what the earlier ones have done. Since we play as many hands
as there are players everyone gets a chance to experience this.
And what is it like? Crazy, usually! It can certainly take
some getting used to having not one, but up to four warping
rules in a game. Having multiple trumps, including numerical
trumps using a system similar to
can be tricky to remember, as can things like "the fifth trick
is tripled rule" (recommend you put the rule card in the
middle of the table to help you remember). We took one rules
card out of circulation for a while for being just too crazy
– the one which
reverses the direction of play after each trick – but
restored it upon realizing it might have dramatic effects if
certain other rules were in effect. We still sometimes play
without the variant as well. One sort of annoying feature is
that when there is more than one numbered trump in the mix,
the lower ones outrank the higher ones, leading some to wonder
if our designer is having too much fun torturing his players.
Fortunately, you can always declared this reversed if you like.
But the great thing is that every hand is very fresh, really like playing a
different game each time, each with its own considerations and
strategies, which is a very cool thing to have in such a small
package. In addition, this is a game that you and your
opponents have, in effect, collaboratively designed, getting to
the idea that
was after, but didn't succeed in reaching entirely.
The rules may seem crazy, but experience has shown that
actually they're well-tempered and work well together to form
an unendingly satisfying experience. Now if we could just get
an English version published so that it's not necessary to
provide translations of the rules cards for the players.
MMML6 (Strategy: Medium; Theme: Low; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Medium; Personal Rating: 9)
Friedemann Friese; Amigo-2010; 3-5
Card game of political parties. An example of its satirical tone
is evident in that the eventual goal is not in winning votes,
but DeutschMarks. Players each represent a political party
and identical decks of cards numbered 1 to 10. With these
they take turns drafting either votes or money cards. Interest
centers around the fact that while the goal is to make the most,
the player(s) with the most votes double their monetary total,
creating an interesting linear programming problem. It is a
bit unfortunate that all of the fully-trackable information
is not public as it is critical. Otherwise, a worthy quick
and introductory game. Monotone colored cards with rounded
corners contain satirical artwork meaningful to those
familiar with the German political scene. Title combines
the words for "voice" and "cattle" and is a reference to the
notion that voters make their choices in a herd mentality.
- Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game
Card game on auto racing which manages to be more convincing than
most which feature cars traveling around a track. Rules are
fast and light. Main challenge is to stay close to the front
and yet manage to retain enough useful cards to zoom to the lead
just before the end. Advanced version does not add a great deal
apart from pit stops, which would seem to want some adjustment.
Currently, stopping in the pit adds twenty-five more cards to your
deck. It would be more interesting and realistic if one had a
total capacity of twenty-five which would make timing of the
pit stop more of an issue.
Good luck in drawing the special ability cards early helps, although if
overused can cause using up the entire deck too quickly..
Recommended, especially for larger groups, probably of up to eight,
as card decks come in packs of four. More than eight is possible with
the third set, but may become somewhat unwieldy – figuring out who
has played the next highest numbered card can take a while.
[McGartlin Motorsport Design]
- Störtebeker (Corsairs)
Multi-player game in which players essentially bid cards and
roll dice to take over (and steal from one another) merchant
galleys of varying values. Highest points of interest are
deciding how to use one's three card plays – available choices
being bidding cards, discarding to get new cards and broadsides
to remove others' cards – and deciding when one's chances of
boarding are good enough to risk the attempt. Features plenty of
strategy and tactics, being overall light and elegant as well,
but overlong with dice luck playing a too considerable role in
the outcome. Probably best for non-gamers and played with a
variant which reduces the deck size. Title is a reference to
Klaus Störtebeker, a pirate figure in fourteenth-century
Baltic Sea history.
This character is becoming an identity
touchstone in Germany.
- Stone Age
A multi-player game of allocating capabilities, rolling dice
to obtain resources and spending them on cards and tiles.
First, players take turns placing their meeple pawns on various
board areas. Two in the single hut location will generate a new
meeple. There is one location for the improved tools that each
add to one die roll. One in the only food technology location
increments the player's turnly food income. The unlimited hunting
location brings in more food on a one-time basis. There are seven
locations each for collecting wood, brick, stone and gold.
Finally there are four one-place-only cards and four one-place-only
tiles. At the hunting, wood, brick stone and gold locations, the
player will roll one die for each of his pawns and divide the
total by a number which increases with the value of the
commodity in question – from 2 for hunting to 6 for gold.
The player receives commodity tokens in whole numbers and
remainders are lost. Often these commodities are used to
buy the tiles which have various costs and provide various
amounts of victory points. A nice innovation here is that many
cards permit the buyer to decide which items to offer and thus
also the number of points which will be scored. Commodities also
go to buy cards which often provide multipliers for victory points
as well as other advantages, e.g. more commodities, better food
technology, etc. Many cards also contain a green background. The
more different types of these that a player collects, the more
points he earns. There are many things to evaluate, both
numerically in terms of the likely dice results and tactically
as understanding what options others are planning to take is
very important. Strategically, no one can afford to ignore the
green cards, not only because they're a major source of points,
but also because doing so dramatically increases the scores
of opponents. Beyond that each player will probably choose a
different set of multipliers to focus on – there are only
four types. These multipliers are not all on the same cards,
one card showing one, another two and yet another three. But
suppose the three multiplier card you are working on never
appears out of the deck. This will be rather devastating to
your score. On the other hand a rather fun type of card is
almost a game itself. The player rolls a die per player. Each
result corresponds to a different type of benefit which
players then take turns drafting. The presentation here is
quite attractive and the wordless communication design nicely
clear. The meeples are covered in ridges, apparently to
represent the wooly hairiness of our forebears. There is considerable
attention to theme, though at the end of the day one feels more
a number cruncher than a cave man or woman. As is appropriate for
the creator of
the primary feeling and required skill here is logistical.
My feeling, by the way, that it would not win the Spiel des
Jahres (German game of the year) award for which it was nominated,
has recently been confirmed. As the above description attests,
it is just a touch too complicated with too many working parts
for the goals of that award.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: Medium; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: High; Personal Rating: 6
Bernd Brunnhofer as Michael Tummelhofer;
Hans-im-Glück/Rio Grande Games;
[Buy it at Amazon]
- Strada, La
Martin Wallace connection game in the medieval Tuscan
countryside. Players want to connect to the largest cities,
but every new connection reduces the value for all. Much
decisionmaking revolves around guessing what others have in mind
and blocking it with one's own roads, but as one can generally
penetrate via a town, it's a difficult proposition to really
wall anyone out. The board provides a nice variety, being formed
of pizza slice shapes recomposed for each playing. But therein
also lies a danger in that some boards can be unbalanced in
favor of the first player. The later a player moves the more
disadvantage he is in anyway since there are always more roads
in his way. The last players may not even receive as many turns
as his predecessors. Predecessor games in this area are
which had the fascinating additional idea that the players'
roads decide which cities are most important and the even
This one is the simplest and should be considered a bridging
effort as many strategy gamers may find it rather unfair.
Four-player partnership card game on an unusual topic: beach
volleyball. Although a bit random in the luck of the draw,
really does provide a realistic feeling of volleyball as each
player must develop a feeling for the position and abilities of
the partner, or at least their seven-card hand, from a minimum of
information. On the other hand it is a bit disappointing that the
best strategy seems to be a most unvolleyball-like one of simple
volleys omitting the setup and spike in order to exhaust the
opponents' cards. This is because between high point "Baggern"
cards, blocks and diving saves, it is almost always possible
to successfully receive nearly any ball. If anything, spikes
(Schmettern) should be saved to the very end when hardly any
cards are left, not least because a double block can be very
difficult to counter and if it is necessary to use a diving
save which will take the player out for the rest of the point,
it would be better if that player had already used up most of
his hand. Another approach if one is holding a spike, is to go
ahead and try a three-touch play if only to make less likely
the dangerous "block". Cards are not extremely well-made,
but are amusingly illustrated. Owning two sets permits adding
two more players. To get the game length right, recommend
that you play with the new volleyball scoring being used in
the Olympics: it's possible to score a point whether serving
or not. [summary]
[Two vs. Two Games]
Corné van Moorsel continues to demonstrate great range,
this time bringing us a sports game: 5-on-a-side soccer. The
basic insight is a clever one: success depends on position. This
is realized via a tripartite player turn. First, roll a die
to see how much one of your players can do. Second, move him,
orthogonally across the grid. Third, should he reach the ball,
kick it a number of spaces equal to the remaining pips plus
one. This must be in a straight line with one 45o angle
change permitted. It cannot be kicked through an opponent, but
should it reach a teammate, it is extended another space and can
even be re-directed. It's deceptively simple the way it all works,
but it cannot have been easy to figure out the ideal board size
and rules for movement and kicking to have it all come together
so well. Despite the abstractions, there are many situations --
the goal kick, the sideline pass, the cross from the corner --
that seem lifted right out of a real match. For the sake of
a game it might have been better to just end it when a side
reaches three goals to avoid the chore of tracking turns, but the
much bigger bone of contention is the roll/role of the die and
the randomness it causes. Alternatively each player could have
drawn from twelve cards to even out some of the chaos, but I think
also at the cost of drama and fun. Besides, which of us chagrined
losers is honestly willing to give up one of the most convenient
excuses for failure around, eh? With a strong "just one more"
quality, this is the most amusing game on soccer I have seen,
replacing Tor in this regard, and
should be of interest to virtually all players, even strategists
who can experiment with various setups and re-programmings
- Stunt Academy
Multi-player card game of would-be stunt actors trying to be
best in class. By drafting cards players compete to be the
star pupil as well as the overall best among all courses for
each semester. In addition, points are awarded for the player
who at the end has done the most in each discipline. Timing is
everything as what you don't take probably won't be around by
your next turn, especially as the card at the front of the queue,
if not taken, is tossed. Players also need instructors and while
these are never tossed, they cost fewer action points as more get
taken. But can you wait for a bargain or will the one you want
already be gone? It's unfortunate that a lot of the Hollywood
jokes on the cards, especially the film agents, are only in
German as they are rather droll. The cartoonish illustrations
are fun too. Some communication design problems are apparent
as training and instructor cards are meant to match up by first
letter, but in one case it's an A for Auto while the other is C
for Car. So players end up going strictly by color, but this has
its own dangers as the light blue F looks a little too close to
the off-white F. It appears more blindtesting with a full color
proof version of the game was called for. There's an action point
recording system that is very error-prone and players ought to
just overlap one card with the other. Other minor annoyances
are the need to record and view scores on paper, memorizing
that instructor prices are 6-4-2-1 as well as that minimum
requirements are 4-5-6-7. Only three and four player versions
are offered and with three some of the numbers are different.
Play continues over 4 semesters which seems to run on just a bit
too long for the level of randomness -- perhaps just 3 rounds
might just suffice? That way one has a somewhat random, but
challenging short game on an amusing theme. There is some strategy
as well since one can concentrate either on quantity or quality,
so with the caveats mentioned, everyone should find something to
like here. This would be a good candidate for a better tested,
more lavish production that included rules for two and five
players, point chips, fixes to the graphical errors and a small
board to display the important numbers and track the competitions.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: High; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Medium
Action game based on a football (soccer) match. Each player
controls eleven plastic figures on a green felt mat and
simultaneously flicks them by finger trying either to hit or
block the ball with them, the ball eventually going into one
or the other's goal for a point. Rather simple-minded and not
particularly like the real game as only one figure is moving at
Leo Colovini game for up to four has players racing to collect
twelve different items from under the sea. This is not a
flip-a-token-to-see-what-you-get game. Rather, all of the tokens --
more than necessary -- are distributed randomly at four depths of the
sea which is divided into several segments, thus forming a grid.
Being played with here is the idea that only one treasure it at the
most shallow level, but there are four if you descend to the hardest
to reach deepest level. But movement is fairly easy to accomplish
as one can travel as far as desired as long as depth doesn't change
by more than one. More vital are the rules that to grab a treasure
one needs to have a card of the same color and that if any
opponents' submersibles are in the same zone or higher, their owners
must each be given a card from one's limited supply of fifteen.
Another challenge is that one can't activate just any submersible,
but only the ones located under one's ship, which crosses the board
from left to right and when it reaches the end, awaits other ships,
leaving the owner with little to do. Especially in the two-player
game, it seems worst to be the first player, all of whose
placements can be covered essentially cost-free by opponents and
whose ship is likely to finish first and be at others' mercy. In
general, with only the cards being random, this is on the abstract
end of the scale. Thematically, ,the idea that other submersibles
steal a benefit by being able to "watch" makes sense, but the idea
of a race to collect twelve does not. This is probably of most
interest to thoughtful tacticians who enjoy entertaining everyone
by pulling of a magnificent big play. The four player version is
probably the best option while two-player is not recommended.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: Medium; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 5
Abstract for four players includes 120 wooden squares, twelve
wooden houses and thirty-two human figures in four colors.
Players try to build up lands and get their people into
houses in a game which is simultaneously about competition
and cooperation as even "marriages" between players are very
important. One might wish that the rules could have been
constructed a bit more elegantly. One problem may be that it
is a bit too easy for an inexperienced or careless player to
give away the game to the player to the left, the so-called "Fossil factor".
- Summon the Dragon
Trick-taking partnership card game which like Bridge
or, more aptly, 500 features pre-game bidding. The only
real wrinkles here are fantasy theming (unfortunately some of
the cards are so "artistic" that it is difficult to determine
to which suit they belong) and the ability to summon the super
trump from another player's hand. The original 500 will
prove to be the superior game for just about everyone unless
fantasy themes are of utmost importance.
- Sun, Sea & Sand
In the midst of 2011 it's easy to be fatigued by the belly flop
the game industry has taken in the direction of the worker
placement mechanism. Just look at how many of the
new games of Essen 2010 employed workers,
and this doesn't even count expansions, spinoffs, etc.
But here's an example that refreshes instead, perhaps because
it's truly interested in its theme. Players are entrepreneurs
on a scenic island. By establishing hotels and attractions and
putting up signs they hope to make money on the tourists,
which come in four types. Some like to play on and in the
water, some like amusement rides, some like to play sports and
finally there are those who simply love to eat and drink.
These are all represented by differently-colored meeples and
it's completely hilarious that the food lovers are extra fat.
Here the workers are five family members who
do things like book tourists – all of whose arrivals
are randomly determined and completely known from the start –
build new condos and buy attractions, or signs. An interesting
twist is that some activities take more time than others which
is represented, cleanly, by workers not being available for an
extra turn or two, becoming another factor in planning.
Attractions are things like bars, boat rides, tennis courts,
golf courses, etc., the point being that after tourists arrive,
if there are extra attractions matching their interests, they will
stay another week, and pay once again. One departure,
arguably, is that money doesn't matter in the end. The winner
is the player having the most tourists at their facility when
play ends. In fact money doesn't matter all that much. The
most a player can have is capped and we have seen a playing in which
a player had this maximum for most of the game, but still did
not win. There is also a sub-game in the arrangement of
attractions on the player's resort grid, attempting to create
as many discrete open spaces as possible. Finally, mostly for
fun there is a backpacker tourist who never books, but moves
around a number of moves based on the amount of the money held
by the poorest player at the end of the round and booking a
room if they end on a resort having a vacancy. The
cartoonish art in this one is delightfully realized by
Christoph Tisch. This is a game in which looking ahead is important
and overbooking is a problem. These two factors are key to the fun.
LHML7 (Strategy: Low; Theme: High; Tactics: Medium; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 7)
Corné van Moorsel;
Cwali-2010; 2-5; 50
- Superblatt, Das (Buried Treasure)
Sid Sackson-designed card game based on operations
of a newspaper is somewhat reminiscent of Solitaire. Mechanics
work well, but options are few and there is not much strategy
here although there is plenty of luck of the draw. Buried
Treasure is the title of the slightly-revised English version,
changing to a piracy theme.
Later re-released as Atlantis, this fun game from the times when
Americans still knew how to make them still retains considerable appeal
for adults and children alike, especially in the American edition when each
refugee from the sinking continent had a different and hidden value.
Great fun handling and using the attractive sea serpent, whale and shark pieces.
Card game ostensibly about medieval kingdoms feels like multi-player
with battle and courtship elements. Luck of the draw often
seems to dictate the winner among close players at the end. The
courtship rules are rather complicated and it is not clear that
anyone outside the designer's circle of players fully understands
all of the potentials buried within them.
This is one of those inexpensive games in a tiny package one
picks up with the thought "at that price how bad could it be?"
One should really learn ... There are ten special dice and
thirty or so small red chips. Each player begins with a pair
of dice and some chips. On your turn roll the dice and follow
their instructions which can be (1) swipe a die (but not
someone's last die), (2) swipe a chip, (3) swipe a die from the
middle, (4) put a die in the middle, or (5) swipe a chip from the
middle. If all of one's dice come out to
(4), steal a die from every other player. Whenever all the
chips in the center are exhausted, the player with the most
chips wins. Although the problems of players having enough dice
and having a decent chance are nicely solved, the only
decisionmaking in the game at all is in choosing which player
to target, which being only about numbers is very easily
determined. That there is decisionmakking at all raises it a notch
above LCR, but just barely. Although the plastic game box
is small enough to fit in a pocket, that's also about the size of
the ideas inside.
Strategy: Low; Theme: Low; Tactics: Low; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 2
Garrett J. Donner, Michael S. Steer, Wendy L. Harris; Fundex; 2004; 2-6
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