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...and then, we held hands.» Forums » Reviews

Subject: An exercise in patience, respect, and consideration. rss

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Alexandra M
Canada
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In my opinion, "...and then, we held hands" is not a fun game. It is not a game that makes me laugh with glee, or excitedly plot and plan. It is not a game that has everybody guffawing, or cursing under their breath, and it's not a game to bring out every time you want to have a good time. This might sound unappealing, but it is important to note that this game was never intended to be fun. It's a strategic exercise and a mind-bender, and boy is it a good one.

While playing "...and then, we held hands" you are attempting to strike the perfect emotional balance, allowing you and your partner to advance along the levels of the circular path, and find balance. Among the journey you will find sadness and anger, but also happiness and calm, much as you do in real life. You can't expect to always have the perfect balance, but you have to try to stay close, or else you lose.

I'm sure other reviews have covered the gameplay well, but I'll explain in brief. You and your partner both have cards in front of you (with beautiful artwork, might I add), depicting different emotions. Among the circular board, there are three orbits, and you must gradually move through the orbits, until you reach the center within one turn of each other. You can use both your own cards, as well as your partners' cards, and depending on which side of the circle you are on, varies which way your cards face. This is crucial because different cards can represent different emotions, depending on the side of the card you use. You try to land on specific emotions in order to obtain the goal cards so that you can move on, and you can always complete either your goals, or your partners' goals.

There is a very key part of gameplay as well: you are not allowed to communicate with your partner about the game.

This sounds quite interesting, but as a brain-burner, I loved it. I also loved it as a couple's game, as I played it with my boyfriend, and it worked so well. It's funny - it's a very abstract game, with a supposed theme of a couple working on their failing relationship, but it honestly works. If you think too much of yourself? Your partner is unable to move, and you both lose. If you don't find a balance of emotions, both in the game and in real life, you lose. It's such an interesting couple's exercise, and you really have to think about what is best for them in order to win the game and come to balance together. It also becomes a game of trust - you have to trust that your opponent is looking out for you, and that there's a plan for your moves, even if you don't see what they see.

This game was very frustrating at first, because when you see your partner not noticing the same moves as you, and not allowing you to do the move you'd planned, it can be very stressful. It took us four tries to beat it, and the first three we lost very quickly. After that though, we tried to be more patient and less frustrated with each other, and just breathe through the emotions and the nervous feelings of getting stuck, and just support each other all the way. Sometimes I made a poor move, and at times so did he, but since we were looking after each other, we were always able to find a path that helped repair it all.

Honestly, it was one of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had, and I would highly recommend it. I would like to pick up a copy for our house for when we are having a particularly poor communication period of time (which, as we all know, is a thing that happens), so we can sit, breathe, get in sync, and be. When we finally won together, it brought a really amazing sense of accomplishment, and closeness. Kudos to the designers for really capturing the theme, despite the abstract nature.

as an aside! I am new to reviews, so please feel free to give me feedback I do mini reviews frequently on my instagram alexandrasgames, but never on here!
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Trevor Schadt
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
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alexangiraffe wrote:
There is a very key part of gameplay as well: you are not allowed to communicate with your partner. No words are supposed to be spoken - this is a silent game.
That's not actually true. You're not allowed to discuss strategy or talk about the game(*). You can -- and are, in fact, encouraged to -- talk about other things; after all, in a relationship that has problems, it's easy to talk about everything except the things you really need to.

(*) As I'm generally teaching this game to the other person while we're playing it, I tend to make an exception for "asking for rules clarifications," but I expect and suggest to the other player that they not be done in the manner of "masking a strategy suggestion as a rules question."
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Alexandra M
Canada
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ryudoowaru wrote:
alexangiraffe wrote:
There is a very key part of gameplay as well: you are not allowed to communicate with your partner. No words are supposed to be spoken - this is a silent game.
That's not actually true. You're not allowed to discuss strategy or talk about the game(*). You can -- and are, in fact, encouraged to -- talk about other things; after all, in a relationship that has problems, it's easy to talk about everything except the things you really need to.

(*) As I'm generally teaching this game to the other person while we're playing it, I tend to make an exception for "asking for rules clarifications," but I expect and suggest to the other player that they not be done in the manner of "masking a strategy suggestion as a rules question."


You are absolutely correct. I think I knew this...and then failed to communicate. Oops! Thank you for the clarification. I've modified the post to be accurate. Thanks
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