by Stephen M Elonka
Remember the game of “dots” or “boxes,” where you joined the dots to complete squares, and the person who made the most squares was the winner? Play Square, a new version of that popular game, can be played by the whole family or by just one person. You start with a design already made for you. There are even free moves — if you can find them. So grab your pencils, and Play Square!
Here are two Play Square games. Number 1 is much the easier; it is suggested for the children.
The aim is to complete as many of the 144 squares as you can.
First, draw a line between two dots. If your line does not complete a square, it’s the next player’s turn. If your line does complete a square, write your initial inside it. Then look for other squares you can complete with one line. When you can’t find any more, draw a line for the next player, trying to place it so he can’t close a square with its help. When all squares are closed, the player with his initial in the most squares wins the game.
The aim is to complete the 144 squares with the lowest score given for the game.
First, draw a line between two dots. If your line does not complete a square, write the number 1 on the line. That is a score of one against you. If your line does complete a square, it’s “free” and should not be numbered. Look for other placed where one line will close a square. If your next line does not close a square, number it a 2. Try to place all lines not closing squares so they give you a “run” of as many free lines as possible. When all squares are closed, the last line you made that did not close a square will be numbered with your final score for the game.
Solo scores: Play Square No. 1-24, excellent; 26, good; 29, fair.
Play Square No. 2-53, excellent; 55, good; 58, fair.