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Subject: Clay, Crazy, Chaos, Cool. The 4-C Review. rss

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Ben Lott
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Mason
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Clay: I got Cluzzle for my wife, because she had seen it in a store and thought it looked like her kind of game. I’m not the artistic type, so I tried steering her in another direction. But she was adamant that this was the game she wanted, so I made a point of getting a copy as part of her Christmas gift. With excitement she tore open the shrinkwrap in hopes of playing the game the day after Christmas. Unfortunately we found rock-hard dry clay. (I won’t rehash this issue but needless to say that, if the box says “Eagle Games” on it, be prepared to go purchase some fresh clay. From what Dominic said to me, it sounds like Eagle really gave them the shaft.) After getting some fresh clay we were ready to play.



Crazy: What I have found is that this is totally my kind of game, because there is no real artistic ability required. The sculpting round is a crazy dash to create that perfect imperfect creation. Trying to balance something that is not too obvious with something that is at least possible to be guessed is a lot of fun. It’s always humorous to me, when I get done early, sitting back and watching my family delicately manipulating their sculpt to get it “just so” as if they were a group of Michelangelos putting the finishing touches on David.



Chaos: Then comes the question round, which is just utter chaos. This is the one round we do use the timer for, because it creates a fun tension as everyone struggles to figure things out without asking a question that makes it too obvious to everyone else. We often find ourselves bending the “only allowed answers” rule, but it’s all in good fun. It’s also funny how a question that you failed to ask in one game pops into your head from then on. In a specific instance, my wife was dying for us to ask her if her item was made of glass, but no one thought to ask it. So from then on, every sculpt she made, the first question asked was “Is it made of glass?”



Cool: The final step is the guessing of answers. It’s always cool to see how someone will just pull out of thin air the answer to someone’s Cluzzle without having asked any questions that led them there. It’s this kind of event that keeps the game exciting and fun. My only (slight) complaint would be that you can have a real runaway leader issue when you play multiple rounds. But the rules make it clear that each sculpting round is basically a whole new game, so if you want to start over fresh, you can always do that. And frankly, as with most party games, it ends up being about the experience and not the actual winners and losers. I would recommend Cluzzle for anyone who enjoys a good party game. Don’t be intimidated by the “artistic” look of the game, a Joe Schmo can easily compete with Pablo Picasso in this enjoyable game.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Bethesda
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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Blott wrote:
From what Dominic said to me, it sounds like Eagle really gave them the shaft.


I wouldn't say that Eagle Games actively shafted us. We were partnered with them when they went bankrupt and we got shafted in the process. There was a lot of carnage when Eagle Games went bankrupt and our story is not the worst of them. But with that said, yes, it has been a big pain in the buttay for us.

Dealing with thousands of copies of Cluzzle with dried out clay is only one of the hassles it has caused.
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