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Subject: A fruitful few minutes of fun. rss

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James To My Friends
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Chop Chop is a dexterity game for up to 4 players from Korean publisher Joen. I bought it at Essen Spiel 2012 on a whim. I wanted a fast moving dexterity game that was a little different and this one seemed to fit the bill. From what I could tell it seemed like a popular choice as their demo tables at Spiel were always busy.

The premise of the game is straight-forward. Players are dealt a set of menu cards. They must complete these cards by collecting the required fruit from the bowl using only the provided chopsticks. The winner is the player who completes all their menu cards the fastest.

The game comes in a sturdy green box with some high quality cutesy Asian graphics and a slightly baffling tag line - "Chopsticks" Fun and Brain. At least there are no tentacles amongst the bounty of fruits that make up game cover. Once opened the box itself becomes part of the game. A strong plastic insert forms a central bowl into which the fruits to be grabbed are placed.

The instruction pamphlet is bright, clear, and concise. It enables English readers to get up and running with this game very very quickly with minimal questions. Admittedly this game is pretty much a food version of Snap, but none-the-less it's good to know that there is no weird Korean version of English to deal with here.

Included are four sets of plastic chopsticks. Each has a spring-loaded training clip to help those who are unfamiliar with handling them. Allegedly the trainer has two settings of difficulty and can be removed completely for the fully competent. I found my clumsiness was a barrier to getting the clips off the chopsticks as I was afraid of breaking them. Hence all games so far have been played on the “easy” setting.

The fruit are made from a fairly soft rubber rather than a hard slippery plastic. A first this was a little disappointing as the little practice I had before we played showed it was quite easy to pick up the fruit. I was afraid the game was going to be a little too easy. However, once we started playing the game those fruit a pretty hard to collect in the heat of battle as three other pairs of chopsticks prod, poke, and grasp at the fruit in the bowl. It can get quite heated in there, but it can be as competitive as you want it to be.

The game is very frenetic, and fun with it. All six menus are filled within a few minutes and both adults and children are quickly wanting to play again. All in all I'm pretty happy with this game. Clearly it's no Splotter, but it does have a nice little niche within my collection being suitably different from the slower and more skilful balance game Riff Raff. If I wanted something similar there are plenty of other things out there like Sticky Stickx and few Haba favourites.
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