Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Überplay, 3-5 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $19.95)


Although many gamers adore games that are pure, totally stripped of theme (check out Abstract Heaven in this issue, for examples), there is no question that sometimes a theme can rescue a game from oblivion and grant it new life. The most recent example that proves the rule is Relationship Tightrope.

Relationship Tightrope is a Reiner Knizia design that first appeared in 1999 under the “catchy” title Drahtseilakt. The game comes with 9 “Relationship” cards, 2 “Instant Forgiveness” cards, 50 bidding cards, 50 “balancing sticks” and a short set of rules. While the game play remains the same as its predecessor, the theme has changed; we are now trying to build a “successful relationship”.relationship

The “philosophy” of the game is that to build a successful relationship, there must be a certain “give” and “take” between a man and woman. In game terms, this means you must be able to “balance” your holdings.

The 9 Relationship Cards are numbered 1 through 9, and are half pink and half blue. The 2 Instant Forgiveness cards come in only one color (blue or pink) and carry a value of 0. The Relationship and Instant Forgiveness cards are shuffled together to form a “Relationship Deck” and placed face down next to the sets of 50 sticks, 25 blue and 25 pink. With the Bidding Cards (numbered 1 through 50) shuffled, each player is dealt a hand of 9 cards.

The top card of the Relationship Deck is revealed and now each player, starting with the dealer, plays one card from his hand, face up for all to see. In clockwise order, all other players reveal one card. When all players have done this, “winners” are determined.

The player with the HIGHEST number card receives as many blue sticks as indicated on the Relationship card. The player with the LOWEST number card receives as many pink sticks as indicated. Number cards played are discarded and the next round begins. Now, the next Relationship Card is revealed, bidding again takes place and sticks are distributed accordingly. This continues until all Relationship Cards have been bid upon, ending the round.

As players amass blue and pink sticks, they return them to the “bank” as long as they have an EQUAL number of the two colors. For example, a player with four blue sticks and three pink sticks can return three blue and three pink. He is left with one blue stick.

Instant Forgiveness cards carry a value of “0”. When one of them is revealed, the NEXT Relationship card is exposed and players only bid for ONE color that round. (If you drawn both Instant Forgiveness Cards in a row, they are simply discarded.)

When all nine Relationship Cards have been played, the round is over and players calculate scores. The number of sticks, regardless of color, remaining in front of you is your score for the round. (Manage to end up with NO sticks and a perfect score of 0, you have achieved a perfectly balanced relationship. Your reward? CANCEL a score from a previous round! This little wrinkle enables a player who feels hopelessly out of it to bounce back nicely.) Now, the next round begins. (The number of rounds in a game is equal to the number of players.) Player with the LOWEST cumulative score wins.

What separates Relationship Tightrope from its predecessor and gives it the potential to be a big seller is the human relationship theme. Dinah Washington sang “What a Difference A Day Makes”. “What a Difference a Theme makes” is the name of this tune. People who wouldn’t dream of playing the original release or touching a card game that doesn’t resemble a standard 52 card deck will find this offering a charming “cross over” into the world of adult gaming. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Herb Levy cover letter for automobile service writer resume proofreading benefits popular rhetorical analysis essay writing websites gb addressing cover letter to be faxed farming on a whole new level essay go to site cheap viagra australia viagra u beogradu where can i buy primatene mist online anatomy and physiology homework help cheap custom writings does viagra work on transsexuals go how to write a final paper julius caesar coursework writing an essay help viagra cause heart palpitations go to site click go to site resume wtd Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.

Spring 2004 GA Report Articles


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