Who would’ve thought that Rhombuses could be so much fun?

This is a great visual pattern-making game for the whole family. Very easy to learn and play for 2 to 6 people, or even with teams. It’s simply a matter of playing these uniquely designed cards side-by-side to form diamond shapes (rhombuses) that score points depending on their size and the number of colors used to form them. Quick and simple!

Puluc – A 2-player elimination game from the Ketchi Indians of Guatemala

Puluc (also called Boolik or Bul) is a running-fight board game originating in Mesoamerica, and is known particularly among several of the Maya peoples of Belize and the Guatemalan highlands.

It’s not known exactly when the game was developed or what the original rules were as very few records survived the invasion by the conquistadors between the 15th and 17th centuries. Game historian Stewart Culin organized “New World” games into those he thought had an influence from Europe in their creation. Puluc is not listed there, so in his opinion the game must have developed before Europeans arrived in Central America.

When pieces are captured in Puluc, they are actually captured – that is, they become a prisoner of the piece that captured them. Returning these captured pieces to their home city takes them out of play, and the capturing piece returned to the start to go again.

Bonnets, Bustles, and Boots is a Clever Card Game for 3 Players with a Theme of Victorian Fashion

A card game specifically designed for courting couples and their chaperone…their what?

The idea for this original NewVenture card game comes from the late Victorian-era practice of courting couples always have a mature third person with them. This third party would ensure that nothing “unacceptable” wouls transpire between the amorous couple during their time together. Three-player parlor games offered way to acknowledge the chaperone’s presence without offence, and still have a little fun.

The game itself is a blind-bidding game in which players use their cards to try to win “Fan” cards (another essential fashion accessory of the period). These Fan cards are not only the players’ score, but may be sacrificed to win still more Fan cards.

(You don’t have to be a courting couple to play BB&B — just three folks with a few minutes to play a quick card game.)

A few words about “creative” packaging. (A bit of a rant.)

Something a little different from the Game Room this week.

I have a lot of games. The collection is nearing 2,000 products now.

The challenge has always been storage and retrieval. How are they stored, and can I get to a specific game when I want, preferably without upsetting the delicate balance of other stuff on the shelf.

Goofy packaging doesn’t help. And so, after some struggles with stuff falling, I prepared this little (tame) diatribe about packaging.

Konane – A traditional board game of Hawaii. (A very good game!)

Konane was almost lost to history, discouraged by colonizers in the early 1800s. Fortunately, it’s back, and we can enjoy this bit of Hawaii’s fascinating culture on the game table.

When you explain the rules, people don’t generally get the depth of the strategy. “It’s like Seega without the drop phase” or “Sounds like peg solitaire for two.” Well, yes to both of those observations, but there’s more.

Play against someone who knows what they’re doing. Patterns and strategies emerge, and (especially on the larger boards) you discover that it has aspects akin to Wei Chi or Halma. It is a very good game.

A Bazaar game! A fun and (dare I say it?) educational gem from Sid Sackson’s impressive catalog.

Bazaar is one of my favorites to play with family and friends. Simple to learn, easy to play, and challenging besides.

A couple of notes from the editorial desk:
1. There’s a third thing that can be done in each player’s turn: purchasing a Merchandise Card. I didn’t include that specifically, but that action is an end-of-turn option, and if possible, you can purchase two cards in the same turn.
2. I left out the third scoring level (sorry). When a star card has been revealed AND the card you purchase also has a star, the two add together for even more points. (It’s all in the rule book, of course).

I would love to hear your comments, and especially experiences in playing Bazaar. Google over to Eagle-Gryphon Games where they have “Samarkand Bazaar” for sale. You can find the older versions on line, too, of course.