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TRIX is a Word and Guessing game by Jack Hanauer published by Porcupine Press. It is for 3-6 Players, Aged 10+ and (according to the tin) takes 30 minutes to play.

The components are packed very neatly into a tin rather than a card box. This is great for storage at home because it is unlikely the tin will suffer damage but it does mean
that anyone buying a copy through the post may find the cost rises quite considerably due to the added weight.

Speaking of the components, you get: a strong, laminated, scoring board, wooden counters 6x4 of each colour (4 per player), 6 player boards showing 3 x3 grid and 153
Word cards - broken down into 51 Blue (Person) 51 Red (Action) and 51 Green (Place).

The rules of the game are simple but the 30 minutes playing time will almost certainly only be met if a timer of sorts is introduced into the game - unless you are playing with a group of very quick-minded, fast-thinking players. The Word cards are shuffled, each stack separately by colour, and then placed in a column of 3. From each of these stacks the top 3 cards are removed and laid face up alongside thus making 3 rows of 3 (a 9 card grid). The players are each given 4 counters of the same colour and a player board. One of each colour counter is placed on the scoreboard and then the players have to study the grid of Person, Action and  Place cards. The first player to find a link calls out "TRIX"  - the link being ONE or TWO words that link one card from each category.

The example given in the rules has the player choosing Soldier (Person) Fight (Action) and Japan (Place) from those available. He secretly places one counter onto his Player board (grid) in the same positions as the chosen words in the game grid. Keeping this away from the view of the other players he speaks aloud saying "Oriental Warrior". These two words link Soldier (Warrior) Warrior (Fight) and Japan (Place) = Oriental.

As an example, if you turn over the words Knight, Athlete, Cowboy (Persons) + Surprise, Travel, Buy (Actions) + Italy, Lake, India (Places) you have to call out 1 or 2 words to create the link. After quite some time thinking (wearing out my poor little brain cell) the only thing I could come up with for these were  "Crammed Speedboat"  and of course no one guessed it. Crammed (Steve Cram - athlete) and Speedboat (for Travel and Lake). My wife came up with "Custer Attack" using Cowboy (Custer) and Surprise and India for Attack (ie Custer surprised by an Indian attack - we said he would have been even
more surprised if the Indians had been from India    ).

It also has to be remembered - something we didn't to begin with - that you do not have to use the words on the grid in the order they are shown.  By this I mean you may set the grid with 3 People cards on the top row, 3 Action cards as the second row, and 3 Palce cards as the third row but your words do not have to be in that order People/Action/Place, they can be linked in any order. This sounds a mite confusing having written it down, but it actually does make sense if you think about it. Example from the game designer:  Delhi Marathon (Athlete, Travel, India)  which describes the Place first and the Action/Person second.

Like all card games it depends on the draw of the cards, here for the display, as to how quickly the player, the "setter" will see a connection.

The players aren't out to try to deceive each other, in fact as points are scored by and off every player who guesses the three cards correctly it is better to make your clue words as sensible as possible, though they will often have to be a little cryptic to make the link. Guesses are made by the players placing their counters in the correct positions on their player boards. This is done in secret and the first player to call out TRIX to state they have made their guess will score 2 points if they are correct, other players who correctly guess score only 1 point. If the "setter" uses TWO words then they score 1 point for themselves for every other player who correctly guesses. If only ONE word is given as a clue then the "setter" scores 2 points per other player as long as they all guess correctly.

As I said, the rules are simple and learning what you have to do takes no time at all, the time is taken trying to think of one or two words that link three of the nine words. The rules do give an example - already mentioned - but "Oriental Warrior" is far more descriptive than my own "Crammed Speedboat" but I am pretty sure we are playing it as it is intended to be played - it works and we have fun straining our brain cells. We have found that 30 mins is pushing it no matter how many players you have. With 5 or 6 players you score a bit quicker (as you are likely to score more per turn and the game ends when one player's counterreaches the end of the score track) but with so many players time is lost more for thinking time.

Overall though this is a neat, new twist on family word games; it is not "just another word game".




© Chris Baylis 2011-2015