Monday, August 30, 2010

Books That Are Almost Games

What I mean by books that are almost games are those books of rules for games using components you've likely got at home.  For example, you can find books about card games at 795.4 in our nonfiction collection, and the only thing you'll need to play the games is a deck of cards (although some card games, like Pinochle have specific sets of cards).

There are a couple of titles on the new books shelves right now that inspired this post.

The first is about dice games.  Written by prolific game designer Reiner Knizia, Dice Games Properly Explained lists more dice games than I knew existed.  If you don't have a box full of dice, raid your closet copies of Sorry!, Monopoly, or even better, Yahtzee!, and you'll find the main ingredient for these games.  Some use scoring boards, which you can copy out of the book, and counters, which could easily be common items, like cotton balls or M&Ms.

Knizia divides his book into sections by type of game, ranging from the simplest lucky scoring games, to bluffing games like Liar's Dice, betting games like Craps, and category games like Yahtzee!  Knizia is a mathematical master, and in addition to the rules of the games, he includes info on tactics and odds. 

This and other titles on dice games can be found at 795.1 in our nonfiction collection.

The second title to inspire this post is about chess.  I don't play chess, but if I did, I'd be interested in Leonard Barden and Erwin Brecher's Chess: 80 Classic Problems.  The bottom of the cover reads, "One move and you're dead!"  Intense.  Basically, this book presents 80 puzzles in which chess enthusiasts have only one move to beat their opponent.

Chess sets can be acquired cheaply if you don't have one, or made if you'd rather upcycle some household junk.

This and other titles on chess can be found at 794.12.

If you'd like to browse our collection of books on games, including everything from backgammon to the World of Warcraft, you can find them in the call numbers 794 through 796.

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