Zenn

Zenn is a remarkably fun and inviting dexterity game for 2-4 players. What makes it remarkably inviting is how easy it is to play, even if you never read the rules. What makes it remarkably fun is how many different games there are to play.

Here are a few things you might want to notice: each corner of the playing field is at a 45-degree angle. This makes it possible for a player to achieve some remarkably impressive bank shots. Directly in front of each goal are two reflecting blocks. They are positioned just where you’d want them if you were trying to bank your chip off the corner into the cup. The space between these blocks is only slightly wider than a small poker chip. Thus, sliding a chip from one side of the board so that it passes between the two blocks on the opposite side (and into the goal cup) requires concentration and coordination that is, well, Zen-like. Then there are the various lines and numbers and letters – each of which lends itself to the formulation of yet further and more profound challenges.

Then of course there are the poker chips. Four each, of two different sizes and colors, inviting yet further possibilities of game-like engagement.

You might also notice that the instruction booklet that comes with your Zenn set describes exactly 101 different games you can play.

In sum, the game of Zenn is an invitation to chip-flicking at it’s finest! Each different game described in the booklet takes advantage of some different aspect of the board and pieces. Each is an inspiration to invent your own.

This is what makes Zenn Major FUN – the elegance and subtlety of the design, the almost intuitive clarity of the goals, the many, many different ways to play; and the sheer delight of the game mechanics.

Yes, the rule booklet has a certain homemade look, and the poker chip pucks seem a little, well, common, but the game is anything but common, and the many different variations are positively inspirational, and the chip-pucks, available almost anywhere, slide and bounce ever so satisfyingly around the lifetime-guaranteed board (with added slipperiness provided by your readily available can of Pledge spray wax)(and a bag of replacement chips available for a nominal $1.75).

For kids, families, parties – like I said, Major FUN.

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