MixUp Review
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Players: 2 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes

MixUp is a bit like one of my old favorites, Connect Four—except it’s more colorful…and it’s much more challenging. To begin, players place all 54 game tiles (which, incidentally, fit neatly inside the game board) face-up in front of them. On the tiles are three different shapes (moon, lightning, and raindrop) in three different colors (blue, green, and red). Players take turns selecting a playing piece and sliding it down one of the game board’s seven channels. But here’s where the challenge comes in: the objective is different for each player. One player tries to get four tiles of the same shape in a row or in a two-by-two square, while the other player tries to get four tiles of the same color in a row or in a two-by-two square.

MixUp is simple to learn—but mind-boggling to play. My eight-year-old nephew had no problem figuring out the rules—but actually playing the game was an entirely different issue. It looks easy enough, but looks can definitely be deceiving. There’s so much to watch for that it’s easy to accidentally play in your opponent’s favor. And, after a while, all the colors and shapes start to look alike. So while it’s a fun—and nerve-wracking—game for a while, after playing a few rounds, you might find yourself frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.

If you’re looking for a simple game that requires a lot of concentration and strategy, MixUp is the perfect game for you. It’s easy to learn and difficult to master. Just remember that it isn’t as easy as it looks—and the frustration factor runs high. So if you prefer a mildly-challenging game to play with the kids, you might want to look elsewhere.

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