Cirplexed!

cirplexed! You get these colorful tiles. Ninety of them. Each tile is composed of four quarter-circles, each of a different color. Each player takes the same number of tiles – how many tiles depends on how many (2 to 6) players. In a 2-4-player game, for example, each gets 22 tiles.

You, and all the other players, take a tile out of the tile bag (well, first you have to count out the appropriate number of tiles and put them in the bag). Then you all pick two more tiles. So, now you have one tile on the table in front of you and two tiles in your hand. You pick one of your two tiles and put it adjacent to the tile in front of you. Hopefully, in doing so, you’ll make at least half a circle of the same color between the two tiles.

After everyone has played, you again pick another tile from the bag, giving you again the choice of two tiles. And, again, you try to place one of those tiles next to the tiles already in front of you in such a way as to create as many part or whole circles of the same color as possible. And on and on again, until the last tile has been played.

Even though you are always only picking one of the two tiles in your hand, your options increase as more and more tiles are laid on the table. So there’s a lot to think about, the most exacerbating of which is that sometimes you have no choice other than to put the wrong color in a 3/4-completed circle.

When all the tiles are exhausted, you count up all your completed circles. The player with the most, wins. If there’s a tie, you count your 3/4 circles. If there’s still a tie, even your half-circles get counted.

Major Fun awardThough it’s a competitive game, no one is really trying to make anyone else lose. It’s all about your trying to maximize your own score. So it’s what you might call gently competitive. Nonetheless, the challenge is deeply absorbing. Luckily, so to speak, luck is most definitely a factor – but still the most observant player has the best chance of winning.

The tiles are beautiful to watch as the patterns gets built. Because everyone has to wait until the last player has made his or her move before picking another tile, players are forced to be tuned to each other as much as they are to their own growing array of tiles. It’s like playing a good game of solitaire, only more interesting, and with more people. And, like a deck of cards, it invites you to create your own variations.

The game takes 15-30 minutes to play. Easy to learn. Easy to teach. A perfect family game for ages 6 and up. Visually inviting. Far easier to read than a deck of cards. Designed by one of our most prolifically Major Fun designers, Susan McKinley Ross. Available from one of our most prolifically Major Fun companies: Mindware.

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