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Subject: Almost Can't Start rss

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William Crispin
United States
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In the continuing saga of teaching my twin girls (9) to be good gamers I pulled out my recently received Face2Face copy of Can't Stop. They had been playing checkers together the previous night so I thought I could get in some gaming with them on this evening. I felt the rules were not a problem for the girls. The choices of columns and how far to push could be picked up in a game or two. The nature of pushing your luck and losing all of your progress made this a challenging candidate but I figured I would push my luck and see what would happen.

I have successfully gotten daughter 1 to play a variety of carefully selected games. She can handle Carcassonne, Bohnanza, Gemblo, and Blokus. She is a pretty good sport as long as the game is not too competitive and score is not obvious until it is calculated at the end. If she feels she is far behind, or has a run of unusual bad luck during a game, she will throw up her hands, yell that she is losing, and stomp out of the room.

We started and I explained the rules. It took a few examples to explain the choices about pairing up the dice. The fact that you had to put a pyramid on if you had an unused number took a little while. We started with daughter 1 and she had a good grouping of three in the center of the board. I had already shown her a run where I went too long and lost all of my progress but after five rolls with no stopping she could not make the numbers. As soon as she realized that she had lost all of her good progress, she got upset and left with parting words about never winning any games (not true).

After we reconvened in about 10 minutes we agreed the first game was a learning experience and started a new one. Daughter 1 was very careful this time, making sure that she got on the board. After a couple of turns daughter 2 started to get in the spirit of the game. She started talking to the dice and kept saying "pushing my luck". I think this turned it around for daughter 1. She also got excited about the game and started to be a little less careful. Daughter 2 was the first one to close out a column, although we were all pretty close. We all washed out a couple of times but nobody lost too much. A couple of turns after daughter 2 closed out her first column; she got a great run on 7 and 8 and closed them both out in the same turn.

Daughter 2 came in first on 7, 8, & 10. After she won I continued to play with daughter 1 until we had both closed out three columns. I finished next with 2, 4, & 11 and daughter 1 finished last 3, 6, & 12. She wanted to play again but I wanted to go watch a movie with my wife so the girls finished up the evening by playing a couple of games of Travel Blokus together.

I think this was a good reprint for Face2Face to pick up. I was surprised at the amount of tension this game has generated the few times I have played it. It beats Yahtzee hands down and it got two thumbs up from my girls.

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