Bendomino Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 5+)
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes


This bendy dominoes game adds a new twist to an old favoriteóthanks to the curvy new playing pieces.

Players begin each round with a designated number of bendominoes (if youíre playing with four players, for instance, each player starts with five bendominoes), and the remaining pieces make up the stock. As in a regular game of dominoes, the player with the highest double (usually double sixes) begins, and play moves clockwise around the table, with players adding bendominoes to either end of the twisty chain that begins to form. If a player canít play, he draws a piece from the stock. Then he either plays the piece or passes to the next player.

The first player to get rid of all of his playing pieces wins the round. The other players then add up the points remaining in their hand, and the points go to the roundís winner. Play continues, round by round, until one player reaches 100 points and is declared the winner.

  
 
The big difference between traditional dominoes and Bendomino is, of course, the shape of the playing pieces. It may not seem like a big difference at firstóthat is, until you start playing. Often, though, your ability to play depends not only on having the right number on a playing piece in your hand but also on having the right number on the right side of a playing pieceóbecause sometimes youíll need a piece that turns to the right, not to the left. That adds an extra challenge to the gameóbut itís still a simple game that the younger members of your family will be able to play without much of a problem. And since Bendomino, like regular dominoes, doesnít require a lot of strategy or skill, itís still anybodyís game.

Despite the fact that I canít seem to win this game, no matter how hard I try, I enjoy playing it anyway. The curvy playing pieces will keep you on your toes, but the game isnít especially time-consuming, nor does it take a lot of concentration. And that adds up to make it a quick and easy way to pass the timeóeven if you only have a few minutes to spare. If your family loves playing dominoes, youíll want to give Bendomino a try, too.

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