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Pente is a fast moving game of skill for two players which resembles checkers in ease of learning and simplicity, plays like a sophisticated tic-tac-toe, and yet approaches chess in its tactical depth and wonderful variety.
Pente is actually an outstanding innovation, derived from several closely related board games that have been popular in the Orient for centuries. Among these game are Go (the oldest continuously-played board game in the world), Niniku-Rinju, and Go-Moku. Pente is a contemporary game which combines the basic elements of all three--the simplicity of Go-Moku, the flashy tactics of Niniku-Rinju, and the profound strategy of Go. And all of these games can be played on the Pente board.
Pente is much more than a simple game--it's a whole new concept in game sets. Incorporated in one attractive and durable set are a variety of games appealing to a wide range of tastes. The aesthetic and versatile interpretation of play highlights both the natural beauty of the games and the joys of play.
I had the chance to interview Gary Gabrel in my job as a disc jockey in 1983. I was given a copy of the game in the red tube. I recently dug it out for some teenagers to play and they are hooked. (What stands out most about my interview was Gabrel came in the studio smelling like he'd been smoking something other than tobacco.)
The game is great. I had no trouble teaching the basics to these kids. Then it was fun to watch them as they learned the fine points and developed their own strategies. Oh, and I found Gabrel's business card in the tube along with the green and yellow runes and the directions.