I might just have a new favorite game to play! Don’t get me wrong-I enjoy playing almost all games (war games aren’t something I can get into), but this new game…there’s something about it that just hooks you.
One thing about going to a game convention, you get to learn about other publishers of games, ones that you don’t see at Target or Walmart, ones you need to go online to purchase or go to your local game store. One that I learned about was Smirk & Laughter. They have several beautiful games, and one that they just released, Shobu, is quite possibly my new favorite.
The main object of the game is to knock 4 of your opponent’s stones off of one of the playing boards. Sounds simple. How you go about that, however, is a little tricky, and I really think that’s why I enjoy the game so much. On each turn, you do two things. You first make a passive move on either of your colored boards on your side of the rope and then you aggressively make the exact same move on either of the opposite color boards (yours or theirs.) I learned to think in reverse, look at how I could knock T’s stones off of the board, and then look to see if that move was available on my side. T took to the game easily, as usual. I thought maybe it would stump him some, but he understood what was going on. He often forgot to look to see what moves he needed to make and would just make moves to make them. That often hurt him.
The game reminds me of checkers and chess. It’s not like them, aside from removing opponent’s pieces and having a strategy. The boards and stones are absolutely stunning. They are simple but asthetically pleasing. If we had a coffee table and didn’t have a child that likes to throw things, we would totally leave the game out all the time.
As mentioned before, had I not gone to Origins, I would not have known about this game, or any of the others from them or their darker side, Smirk & Dagger. I have one other game from them to try out, called Before There Were Stars. It’s a story telling game, something that I really enjoy and like to use to get T’s creative juices flowing. (Not that they aren’t, but this redirects them from Minecraft or random battles.) I will be sure to let you know how it is when we get it to the table!