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Ok so that's the same title I used to review Pente, the "5 in-a-row" version of this game. I currently own a copy of the CARD board game, rather than the faux leather roll up mat as was originally equipped. I don't like the board, I would rather have the roll up version, but since it's out of print, not much I can do about that now. And I should re-iterate that this game also does not "play well" IN the car, and if you have (or can get your hands on) the original roll up game, it sets up fast, games come fast and furious (with repeated play that is) and the game puts away fast. I'm still waiting for the warehouse here at Funagain to re- plenish ShanJari which looks simmilar to both this, GO and Pente as well.
In college a friend of mine carried both Pente, and Megiddo and all the stones from both games in one tube. We generally played the games in the cafeteria, but it's portability and small container travel well. Just imagine trying to carry a Monopoly game around to play at random. It's too big, does not work, the tube game is where it's at. I highly recommend you get this if you already have Pente (or Shanjari) as this game is based on a spiral/con-centric circles rather than a 19"x19" grid. The spiral aspect of the game makes for some different strategies and at times makes it hard to see a good move, and of times you'll miss a capture if you're not careful. Basically this is pente (only you have to get 6 in a row) on a spiral, and if you can connect 6 of your stones in a row, either, a circle, a column, or a spiral, you win! The other difference here (besides 6 in a row, or 12 captured stones to win) is that when you can bracket your opponents stones, you not only remove them and add them to your victory conditions, but you also get to place 2 of your stones in the captured spaces. And YES! you can win by capturing and replacing to make 6 in a row. All in all this was (keyword WAS) an awesome game, too bad it's been so long out of print. Hopefully one day it will return?
This game is nicely done. It has a leather play mat, which comes rolled in a tube, and 3 velvet bags of tokens (semi-clear colored glass blobs, like melted marbles; I'm sure there's a name for 'em).
Anyway, the game is pretty much a 'get 5 in a row' contest, but since it wraps all the way around in a circle it is difficult to know which way your opponent is headed. it takes careful study to see all the possible moves.
The game is 'finite' like tic tac toe is, but more complex, and begins to feel not so finite when you start thinking ahead a few moves.
It's a quick play, so I often pull it out when bored and want a game but am worn out from too many bigger games or short on time etc.
It isn't one of those games everyone comes over just to play it or anything, but it's a handy diversion to have around when you're in the mood.