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Square Up

I never know what our favorite game of the season will be--(see earlier Qwirkle post on our tradition of giving one great game every Christmas). I got the idea to give Blokus to my daughter this year because of my partner JC's rave review of it on this blog. And it's already risen to the position of most favorite classic Christmas game. My family was the first to leave the homestead after the Christmas holiday and my sister's family remained at my parents' house and they searched several different stores to find their own Blokus (since we brought ours home)--proving what a hit it was. The other game though that came through this year was this little game my mother gave my daughter. It's called Square Up and it's a colored version of those little sliding numbers games I always used to play when I was younger. Remember the scrambled numbers with the one empty slot? And you had to use your thumbs to move them back into the right position? And there was always that terrible moment where you had to undo a perfectly good row to help another row of numbers come into place? Well if you loved that you'll love Square Up. It comes with two large boards with removable colored tile--(this just makes them super-easy to slide around, removing them is not part of the play)--but the fun part is the little Boggle-style shakers with the nine squares in them. The brilliant part is that the plastic lids are fused on so you'll never lose the little crucial squares. You shake the Boggle-style shaker, then play alone or compete with another player to slide the tiles around to match the order of the colors in the shaker. The part that makes it easy-ish is that you're only working to match your middle nine. We particularly enjoy slamming down the see-through plastic lid to announce that we've finished first. And of course we've alreayd discovered that even if you're completely lost it drives your opponent crazy to just move tiles around quickly and noisily--because it makes them think that you're cruising through it effortlessly (even if the purple you need is all the way on the other side of the board). This is a great game for two people and a nice palette cleanser after the more brain-tiring Blokus game. It's been a good year for games in our family.