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Pulling Strings Review by Cindy West

Blue Panther LLC

Pulling Strings is a logic game for children age seven and older that requires quite a bit of strategy to win. Two people compete to be the first to collect five playing pieces. Only five pieces? That sounds easy, right? Wrong!

The entire game is contained in a small wooden box that's no bigger than six inches square. In the box you'll find a game board (which is actually like a grid), markers, and tiles marked with a letter of the alphabet on one side and the corresponding sign language sign on the other. All game supplies, including the box, are made from a thin, rough wood.

Play of the game is rather hard to explain, but essentially, each person chooses to be either circles or squares. Around the perimeter of the board, circles and squares are carved into the wood. Game markers are set in the middle of the board on the grid. Finally, alphabet tiles are laid around the board.

Both players choose a letter tile simultaneously. Depending on the order of the letter and the place from which it was chosen, the game pieces are pulled on the grid towards the circles or squares that are carved into the perimeter of the game board. Your goal is to pull as many game pieces into your circles or squares as you can. As mentioned before, the first person to gather five wins.

The most unique factor of the game was the option to practice sign language rather than using the letter side of the tiles. What a fun way to teach and reinforce the letters of the alphabet in sign! There are add-on pieces available for purchase that will teach Roman numerals and Japanese letters, too.

A thorough and illustrated direction sheet comes with the game. Quite honestly, the game is a little confusing, and I was very thankful for step-by-step directions. Variations of play are suggested as well.

I appreciated the small box that easily fits on my game shelf. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the wooden material used for the box and all the game pieces. It's fairly thin and could easily break in two if someone were to accidentally step on it, and it's very rough. I was even a bit worried about getting splinters if we weren't careful.

The concept of the game is fun and challenging. It almost reminds me of some sort of ancient game that's been revamped with modern playing pieces. And as much as I hate to admit it, my mind was exercised just as much as my children's as we played together.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009