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Subject: In Defense of Score Four rss

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tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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I've read a few so-so reviews of Score Four here and I thought it was time for a more positive review of this game.

Score Four's strength is in combining the basics of simple game with an added dimension, transforming it into something more.

At the risk of dating myself too much, this was one of the games I first remember playing that taught me to think in more than just two dimensions. Every knows the basics of tic-tac-toe: score three in a row on a two dimensional grid of nine squares. Add to that an extra square all around for four in a row to win and then four in a row through three dimensions and you get the idea behind Score Four.

After a few games the more advanced gamer will understand the moves required to force a two-way win -- the type of win that will happen whether your opponent blocks your in initial win (allowing a win on your next move) or not. However, as a game to teach younger (or newer) players the thinking required to move beyond more basic game strategies, Score Four is difficult to beat.

The move from thinking in two dimensions to three shouldn't be underestimated. (After all, it's what did in Khan ["KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!"] in Star Trek II)

I still have my (heavily damaged) original Score Four board and pieces -- as well as the thrift store find of a complete game (sans box) that I found years later. I pull them out for people who claim to not be too into games but who are willing to try something that isn't "too different."

If you have kids I'd encourage you to try and find a copy of Score Four. You could certainly do worst in getting your kids thinking in more than one dimension.

(And to be honest, beating my father seven games in a row while he continued to genuinely scratch his head trying to figure out how I was doing it during one summer vacation is still one of my favorite early gaming memories)

...


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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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I agree; it's an interesting game! I was just at a mountain lodge where there was a nice handmade set, and we played 11 games. I was expecting it to be sort of trivial like tic-tac-toe or 3x3x3 tic-tac-toe, but in fact it was interesting and fun. Maybe there's some trivial strategy to guarantee a win or draw, but we didn't find it...
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rick coppage
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you actually beat your dad 7 games in a row? I am suitably impressed. I played my dad for more than 10 years and only won when he let me or he was very distracted, maybe 20 times.But by way of explanation hoe was the developer of the game. I remember him coming home w/ a drilled board and beads then we cut up coat hangers to make the posts.

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tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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I don't think my dad ever quite got the hang of thinking in three dimensions. At least that's the best I can come up with all of these years later.

I had a few double-win set-up scenarios that he eventually caught on to, but otherwise Score Four really was my game. cool
 
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Jay Thomas
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I don't know why we should have to "defend" Score Four. IMHO it is one of the all-time GREAT games.
As stated above, the combination of simplicity (in movement and rules) combined with the added dimension of... um, an added dimension makes this one of the best simple games I've ever played.

As simple as checkers, as interesting as Chess, I'd rather play a few rounds of Score Four than virtually any single more complex game. And, as above, I'd heartily recommend it to the younger crowd. The game is simple to learn yet the concepts required to play can help develop young gamers'minds.
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