Space Faces

“Space Faces” is what you call a game that includes 120 different (that is correct, different, as in no two alike) alien-like heads, printed, in full color, in six concentric rings on a large game board – a board full of Space Faces.

If you happen to look at the faces, eyes, mouths and noses of the 120 different Space Faces, you just might notice that there are 5 different colors of each. So, if you happen to be looking for, say, a Space Face with a yellow face, blue eyes, purple mouth and red nose, you’ll find one, and only one.

Which one you’re supposed to find is determined by the “Alien Identification Device” – a plastic saucer with a transparent dome, 5 marbles (each of a different color), and a concave surface for the marbles to roll around on, and 4 holes, one for each facial feature. So, you shake the saucer, and the marbles find their holish destinies. One of the holes is twice as deep as it should be, so that the first marble that falls into it is covered by the second. Thus, 5 different colors (marbles), 4 different attributes (holes). It’s such an elegant device, and works so efficiently, and it’s so fun to play with, that it, alone, is almost enough to make the game a strong candidate for Major Funhood.

Space Faces is a family game for 2-4 players. The challenge (matching, visual discrimination, speed) is enticing and complex enough to interest an adult, and yet well within the mental capacities of a kindergartener.

So now we do in fact have a game that is Major FUN award-worthy. Easy enough for a 4-year-old to understand, complex enough for an adult to enjoy. This is a major achievement in game design.

The game also includes elaborate, toy-like scorekeeping devices, that actually do make the process of keeping score easier. I, on the other hand, prefer not to keep score. It might have something to do with how embarrassed it might make me to reveal how visually inept I am. On the other hand, the game is so much fun that you don’t really have to keep score at all. All the more Major the Fun, I say. Especially when you’re playing with kids who don’t really understand what winning is for or why you should be happy that you made the game end.

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