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"Keep Summer Safe!"
[Originally written in 2001 -- Brian]
Arbos is a beautiful, overproduced game. For your money, you get a tree base, and a bunch of stylized twigs and leaves. The play is Jenga in reverse. On your turn you add a piece to the tree. If anything falls down, you keep it. First player to run out of pieces wins. For the touch of evil, the base rotates. (The main trunk can extendend beneath the base, forming a nice pivot to twist around). The game also comes with a deck of cards that forces players to play a twig, or a leaf, or a combo. But, it's in German (I think) and really, what's the point?
Arbos is also a beautiful piece that sits nicely on a coffee-table.
This game is a nice gift for non-gamers. Yes, Settlers is a better choice to bring someone into the hobby. But for non-threatening games, Arbos wins hands down.