Abalone

      Abalone

      'Game of the Decade' - International Games Festival

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        Chances are you won't have heard about Abalone if you live outside of France.
        Surprising really considering this unusual two player board game has already sold over three million copies and won a string of industry awards: Mensa has declared it Best Mind Game of the Year and it has also picked up Game of the Year awards in France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. There's also the small matter of winning Game of the Decade at the International Games Festival in Cannes in 1998.

        The popularity of the game has even led to the Abalone brand spinning off into other avenues such as clothing, sports sponsorship, and even its own record label.

        Describing the game is not especially easy. It's kind of a bizarre mixture between Chinese checkers, marbles, chess and sumo wrestling.

        Each player starts with 14 black or white marbles on a hexagonal board. The objective for both players is fairly straightforward. They must remove six of their opponent's marbles from the playing area. Opponent's marbles can be pushed all over the place only if a position of "Sumito" is set up. This is when an attacking player has a greater number of marbles in a row than their opponent. All this shoving, jostling and posturing is where the Sumo-Wrestling analogy fits in (in case you were wondering).

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