Top Spot Review
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Players: 2
Playing Time: 10-20 minutes

Youíve played tic-tac-toe, right? At a pretty young age, we all learn that itís a great way to pass the time on a long bus ride or during a boring school assembly. Itís quick and easy to play: you draw a grid, and you take turns with an opponent making Xs and Os and trying to be the first to get three in a row.

If you know how to play tic-tac-toe, you pretty much know how to play Top Spot, too. The goal is the sameóto get three in a row (this time with red or blue spots instead of Xs and Os) before your opponent does. But, of course, thereís a catch. Instead of taking turns making your mark on a grid, you take turns playing cards.

Before play begins, each player gets two cards, which have two spots on themóin combinations of red and blue spots or blank spots. On each turn, you place one of your cards, trying to get three of your own spots in a row while, at the same time, blocking your opponent. Once you play a card, you draw another one from the draw pile, and itís your opponentís turn.

Top Spot was a huge hit with my family. Mom and I enjoyed it because it was a simple game to play while chatting and passing the time. Dad and my husband enjoyed it because they love a good challengeóand they could face off and play for hours. Mom and I could play a casual, fast-paced game, and Dad and my husband could take their time, staring at the board and taking time to think through each move before playing. But whichever way you choose to play, youíll find it fun and challengingóand sometimes a little bit nerve-wracking.

To win, youíll need both skill and luck. You have to try to plan ahead a bitóbut if you donít have the right card, thereís nothing you can do about it. That makes it anybodyís gameóso itís fun for players of all ages and skill levels.

Because itís based on a simple, classic game that just about everyone knows how to play, Top Spot takes only a few minutes to learn. Even the younger kids in the family can playóor the grown-ups can go head-to-head for a bit more of a strategic challenge. Since the game board also doubles as a case for the cards, it can easily be packed along on your summer road trips with the family. Itís a quick game to pull out whenever youíve got a few minutes to spareóbut be warned that once you start playing, youíll have a hard time setting this game aside.

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