Keep your family entertained with this board game – you can even make it at home!
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Create your own board and counters with items from your house and start playing Outsmart – a two player strategy game that will keep you on your toes
In need of a way to entertain your family during lockdown? There’s only so much TV you can watch, and board games are a great way to pass the time. But if you’re getting tired of Monopoly and can’t face another round of Cludo, then here’s something new. Outsmart is a board game created by local man Shane Hayes, and it’s easy enough to make your own board and counters from things that you’ll have lying around the house. A bit like Noughts & Crosses meets Connect Four, Outsmart is a simple strategy game for two players.
To play at home, all you’ll need to play is a piece of cardboard, divided into 8 squares in a 4x4 grid (see photos). Then, you can use some bottle tops as counters – players need 8 counters each, all numbered from 1-8. Make sure you use different colours of bottle caps so that you can tell which counters belong to which player.
Now, you’re ready to get playing. Here are the instructions on how to play, as provided by Shane.
Players agree to an even number of rounds to play, and decide who is going to play first – taking it in turns to start in the subsequent rounds.
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The game begins when Player 1 places a counter anywhere on the board. Player 2 then places their counter on any free square.
Play continues with each player taking it in turns to place their counters until either all counters have been played, or until a player ‘Outsmarts’ their opponent by achieving four counters in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
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An ‘Outsmart’ is the ultimate win and any player who Outsmars their opponent in a round automatically wins the entire game, no matter the number of rounds played or scores up to that point.
If a round is completed without an Outsmart, then the round is scored by the sum of the face value of any three counters in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Counters can score multiple times if they are within more than one row of three.
Scores will accumulate over multiple rounds and if all rounds are completed without an Outsmart, then the player with the most points wins the game.
Shane created the game around twenty years ago to play with his children, and has taken it to various games exhibitions and games companies in the years since. Given that we are all being advised to stay at home at the moment, Shane decided to share the details of his game, in the hopes that it will bring some entertainment to families who are self-isolating or simply stuck for a way to pass the time.
“As people are stuck indoors at the moment, I thought that I would share the game, as it’s something to keep kids entertained, or people of any age, really,” says Shane. “It’s ideal for kids as it’s an easy little game to play, but it also helps them with practising their addition, as they have to add up the scores from each round. If someone could have some fun with it at the present time, that would just be great.”
Please see the photos included in this article for reference when creating your Outsmart board at home. Bottle tops work well as counters, but anything will do – you can even use different coloured circles of paper – as long as they are numbered 1-8, anything can work.