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Subject: In A World Without Video Games . . . Tron is made of Lego rss

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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Tron reaches over, the handlebar blazes bright blue and he is soon encased in a glowing wireframe mesh that quickly solidifies around him and he is in his Lightcycle.

The moment is a defining geek cinema flash that really gave a vibrant life to those blocky expanding snake type games played on monochrome monitors during study hall in Junior High.

But not everyone had a computer. They just have access to simple plastic toys. Ahhh....

If you wanted that same game, that same rush of "Gak - a wall! Aha! Now I've got you!" in plastic rather than CRT, the answer was Sudden Death.

Sudden Death is a strange amalgamation of real time (kind of), board gaming (mostly) and dexterity (sometimes).

Each player is given a simple instruction: Be able to move, or lose.

Moving consists of grabbing a piece two, three or four segments long, and placing the tail end of it against the head of your prior placed piece. Doing this builds a windy, somewhat pixelated snakelike thing.

I place a piece. You place a piece. No 'jaggies', where you continue moving the same direction, but one space over, still touching orthagonal. It isn't a tough rule or concept. The other players do the same with their brightly colored bits on their turns. Carefully manage your pieces so you don't run out of the very needed "2"s, and you should be fine.

The twist:

In the middle of the board is this plunger thing. A black stick of doom that rises up quickly. After you place your piece by fitting the stubby pegs underneath it into the shallow holes in the board, you impale your palm on this plunger thing.

If you don't, there is the awful high pitched whistle that announces that you blew it. In the video game world, your hand just slipped off the joystick.

So you have this nice mazy racy game suddenly put under incredible time pressure. Analysis Paralysis? Use a 7 second timer. It changes the game play drastically. With 4 players, you have some time to at least think between moves. With 2? You better have sharp instincts and fast fingers.

Then comes the strategy of slamming your piece down as fast as you can to remove any thinking time for the opponent. Luckily, the pieces usually are kind enough to remain where they belong.

The timer has 2 settings, cleverly set by rotating the plunger a bit, which result in either kinda fast or holyfreakinmolyfast.

Its a game that leave you breathless and does a fair job of recreating video game twitch with some nice strategies. Games are fast, fun and furious.

If you see it, give it a whirl.

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Anthony C
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On the box, it shows pieces of different colors intersecting others lines. This seems decidedly un"Tron" like. Are there no rules against going through someone else's pieces? My copy didn't come with rules so if anyone can chime in, that'd be much appreciated.
 
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K-Fresh
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dexdouglas wrote:
On the box, it shows pieces of different colors intersecting others lines. This seems decidedly un"Tron" like. Are there no rules against going through someone else's pieces? My copy didn't come with rules so if anyone can chime in, that'd be much appreciated.

You can jump over a single line; you cannot jump over a double line. You can also jump over the timer.

I can send you a copy of the rules or a .pdf if you like; just GM me your contact info.
 
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