reviewed by Herb Levy
RSV Productions, Inc., 2 or more players, ages 8 and up, less than 30 minutes; $19.95
IiN Japanese, jishaku (pronounced jee-shah-koo) means “magnet”. In Jishaku, the new game designed by Steve Velte, magnetism is the force that serves as the basis for a series of games.
Jishaku comes with 18 magnetic stones (and a bag to hold them), an asymmetrical foam base with “pockets” for stone placement (looking more like an alien landscape than any traditional game board) and rules for three games.
The first game is called “I’m Out!”. The 18 magnetic stones are evenly divided and distributed to the players. In turn, each player places one stone in any “pocket” in the base. Sometimes (and it mig ht be more accurate to say “often”), the piece you place will feel the magnetic pull of its surroundings and attract other stones. Attracted stones, including the stone you just placed, go off the board and into your holdings. The first player to successfully place ALL of his or her stones wins.
“Elimination” is the second game and a rough opposite of the first. Players, in turn, place one stone on the board. Here, you are trying to AVOID attracting stones as each placement scores points for each stone attaching to your placed piece. The first player to score 10 points is eliminated. (If more than two players, the last man standing wins.)
The third game, “Roundup”, is a twist on “Elimination” as accumulating points is a good thing. The board is seeded with 10 stones with remaining stones divided among the players. On a turn, a player places a stone on the board with the hope of attracting (or “rounding up”) as many other stones as possible. Each piece attracted is removed from the board and is worth 1 point. (The capturing piece does NOT count in your score.) If all seeded pieces are captured, the round ends, 10 more stones placed on the board and the second round begins. The first player to total 12 points is the victor.
The use of magnetism is games is nothing new. At least as far back as Tickle Bee (Schaper Toys, 1956), magnets have been used as an integral part to gameplay. The three games offered are fairly basic; there’s really no new ground in game design here. But the presentation of Jishaku makes it worth notice.
The blue foam base is attractive and the magnetic stones a tactile treat, solid and satisfying to the touch. And their magnetic pull is strong, an important consideration in games totally dependent on magnetism. Had the attraction (and repulsion) of force been weak, the games would not work. As it is, the stones literally JUMP across the foam indentations in a flash, sort of like Mexican Jumping Beans on steroids! Albeit a little “gimmicky”, it’s that quality that makes the game appealing, particularly with younger players and older gamers who enjoy a touch of the unexpected in their gaming. The artwork on the box suggests that the stones come marked with colored lines of power. That might have been a nice touch so you could better anticipate the power of placement before setting a stone into a board pocket. But not the case. The stones are all metallic colored and give no clue as to their effects before they leave your hand. This makes the game a purely tactical exercise as the board can radically change with but a single placement.
Jishaku is really a mix of a toy, game and puzzle, showing attributes of a skill & action game (as pieces literally fly around the board) combined with basic game play along with a distinct puzzle component as you contemplate possible effects of each stone placement. All in all, a pleasing dose of personal magnetism truly suitable for all ages. – – – – – – – – Herb Levy
SUMMER 2008 GAMERS ALLIANCE REPORT
reviewed by Herb Levy
Kids are people too! And games can provide the same kind of entertainment and learning that we adults manage to take from our own gaming experiences. Here is a quick look at games kids can play with their friends or maybe even their parents! Remember: the kids that play games today are the adult gamers of tomorrow! BUZZWORD JUNIOR
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reviewed by Joe Huber Queen Games/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.95
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reviewed by Herb Levy [Being born and raised in Brooklyn, New York has given me fond memories of that wonderful place. So, it's a pleasure to present, in this installment of Game Classics, a game produced by Plan B Corporation, a company situated in that beautiful borough, and their intriguing game of force and direction: Vector] Plan B Corporation, 1970, 2-4 players, less than ...
Reviewed by Chris Kovac
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reviewed by Herb Levy Assura/GameWorks, 2-6 players, ages 8 and up, 30-60 minutes; about $50 In the colorful era of pirates and plunder, the notorious pirate Henry Morgan had managed to "change sides", becoming the Governor of Jamaica with the task of driving out pirates. Instead, Henry turned the island into a safe haven for his nautical brethren. To commemorate Henry's rise to Governor, ...
reviewed by Herb Levy RSV Productions, Inc., 2 or more players, ages 8 and up, less than 30 minutes; $19.95 IiN
Japanese, jishaku (pronounced jee-shah-koo) means "magnet". In Jishaku,
the new game designed by Steve Velte, magnetism is the force that serves as the basis for a series of games. Jishaku comes with 18 magnetic stones (and a bag to hold them), an asymmetrical ...Read More
reviewed by Chris Kovac Ystari Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 50-60 minutes; $49.95 Metropolys
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reviewed by Herb Levy Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $44.95
Early man faced myriad challenges in trying to carve out a sustainable life under trying conditions. This struggle serves as the theme for Stone Age
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reviewed by Herb Levy Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $34.95
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reviewed by Herb Levy
Days of Wonder, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $25 One of the most successful games in recent years has been Alan Moon's Ticket to Ride (Spring 2004 GA REPORT). Not only did it garner a bunch of well deserved awards but this game also struck a responsive chord in the marketplace with lots and lots of copies sold ...Read More
reviewed by Herb Levy Mayfair Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 90-120 minutes; $49
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reviewed by Al Newman
Fantasy Flight Games, 2-5 players, ages 12 and up, 1-2 hours; $49.95 Karl-Heinz Schmiel is best known for Die Macher, a game about politics in different regions of Germany. The game is one of the top rated games of all time and has been popular for over a generation since publication in 1986, despite it's complexity and daunting length (approximately 4 ...Read More
reviewed by Herb Levy North Star Games, 4-20 players, ages 10 and up, 20-25 minutes; $29.99
Every since Trivial Pursuit rocketed to stardom as a money-making enterprise, there has been a veritable tidal wave of trivia games covering every conceivable - and inconceivable - subject. Some have been successful; more have fallen by the wayside and into obscurity. Regardless of successes and failures, the knock ...Read More