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Before starting the game, it is necessary to construct the playing area. This consists of two decks made of transparent plastic, which are assembled one above the other on a plastic 'tower post'. Each of the decks has three arms radiating from the centre at 120 degrees from one another, and each arm contains four rows of depressions and a coloured Start and Home Area. Although not mentioned in the instructions there is a specific top and bottom deck, which are not interchangeable, the top deck con¬taining a series of printed dice around the central area which are pertinent to the game. The remaining equipment consists of six sets each of coloured plastic marbles and two dice. Incidentally, should you be tempted to purchase this game, check contents of the box: two or three marbles were missing from my set.
To start the game, players choose a set of marbles and place them on the appropriately coloured Start Area. The object of the game is to move all four marbles around the arms of the decks and back to the Home Area. The marbles are moved according to the dice scores. One marble can be moved the full total of both dice, two marbles each move according to the score of one die each, or one marble moved one die score and the top deck moved so that the pointer on the tower lines up with a similar score to the second die. This may sound confusing, and it is! The first and last space on each arm is ringed in black. When a marble crosses such a space, it may be moved to the similar space immediately above or below. The play is mandatory should a marble complete its move on a black ringed space.
It is not permissable to jump over or land on a space occupied by one's own marble. However, it is allowable to jump other player's marbles, and should a move be completed on an opponent’s marble, it is removed to its Start Area.
The rules state that a 'one’ must be thrown to move a marble out of its Start Area. This brings with it all the usual disadvantages, often resulting with players sitting around waiting to begin. The rules are somewhat vague on this point. For example, if a 'one' and 'four' are thrown, is the starting marble moved four or five spaces? If two ‘ones’ are thrown is it permissible to start two pieces, and, if so, where are they placed? The rules are similarly ambiguous regarding moving into the Home Area.
The box top states that the top deck turns at every throw, but this is not so according to the rules. Likewise it says that ‘you get switched from deck to deck'. In most cases it is the players' option whether or not to move in this fashion. The ability to move two marbles per turn means that it is relatively easy to make an opponent return his marbles to his Start, with the result that it can take ages for a player to get all four marbles home and it is likely that young players will become bored.
There is a rather pointless Lucky Shortcut rule. If a player has a marble in a black ringed space and throws a one on his next turn, that marble may be placed in the depression on top of the tower post and may start its next turn from any black ringed space on either deck.
Presumably this game is intended primarily for children. If this is the case, then from a physical point of view it is most unsuitable. The plastic marbles being small and light are easily lost or swallowed. The decks are rather fragile and are not likely to withstand much wear and tear. The main drawback is the flimsy playing area: only a slight knock will tip it and displace the marbles.
In my opinion this is a somewhat pretentious attempt to update a well-established family favourite. The original is better.
Oh my gosh! I forgot about this game. My family played the heck out of the original and it's one of the reasons I got hooked on games.
It was an awful game, though, on par with Sorry! and all the rest of the crap that would have killed a normal kid's interest in games.
This sounds like it should be posted under Split-Level Aggravation. Conventional Aggravation is a 2D board.