Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back 2 Back from SmartGames

Back 2 Back

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Back 2 Back, a new(ish) puzzle game from SmartGames.

This game comes with a a storage box which doubles as the playing board, 11 colorful game pieces, and an instructions/challenge booklet.


Everything fits in the storage box quite nicely, so you never have to worry about losing pieces or instructions!


Rules for play are quite simple:
1)  Set the white playing board vertically into the clear bottom.  (This looks kind of like Connect Four!)
2)  Pick a challenge and place the pieces as shown.
3)  Find pieces to fill the empty spaces on the board.  You can place them from the front or the back of the board.  You must use all the pieces and all holes must be filled in...from both sides!


Here you can see the game board in place.  You can use the clear plastic bottom to store pieces while you work.


Challenge #2 is almost reading to start.  I just need to finish placing the purple and blue pieces.


Let's take a closer look at the back side of this game board.  You can see that the pieces have some sections that protrude through the game board, and other sections that don't.  You need to cover the half sections with half sections from other playing pieces.


The medium blue "L" shape has two half sections that can fit around this orange piece.


Turn the game board back around, and you can see the protruding sections of the medium blue piece!


Continue placing pieces, both from the front and the back, until the entire grid is filled!  You can check your solutions in the back of the challenge booklet.


There are 60 challenges to play, from starter to wizard.  The game pieces are sturdy and the game board is slightly flexible, which makes popping the pieces in and out a little easier.  My thumbs did get a bit sore after a while!

I have really enjoyed this grid-filling game.  I love that we must attack this from both the back and the front!  This adds a unique twist to this style of puzzle. 

This puzzle is recommended for ages 7 and up.  I'd think that most younger kids could complete the starter and junior levels without too much difficulty.  And, as always, this would be a great game for parents to work on with their kids.

My only complaint:  The name of the game doesn't appear on any of its components!  It isn't even on the cover of the instruction book, so once you throw away the box, you just have to remember "Back 2 Back" is the name.  And I can't imagine anyone keeping the box when this has such a lovely way to store itself.  Anyway, if you search the game book, you can find the name in the copyright information.  Not a problem for game play, just irksome when you're trying to remember the name!

Overall, I give this game 5 out of 5 stars!

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