Outwit®, a board game I found.

December 23, 2006

The board game Outwit has entranced everyone in the Hot Wings house for a long time now. It’s a strategy game along the lines of Chinese Checkers where two adversaries try to outflank the other and be the first to assemble the gamepieces into a designated corner. Trademarked in 1978, it can’t be found at retail locations, although it’s as enthralling as its readily available cousins, Othello and Go.


Particularly beguiling is the photo on the box. A family of three is seated on one side of a gaming table, and each of them has brought their varying enthusiasms to the matchup. At left, Dad looks happy simply to relax with his wife and son, to don a cozy blue flannel, and begin to forget the stress that he dealt with all day long. He’s proud of his son, who is clearly absorbed in the challenges and unpredictabilities of Outwit. The boy’s mouth has stretched into a happy grin as he contemplates his next move, his delighted eyes fixed on his mother’s fingertip, which is poised to slide her gamepiece and drastically alter the complexion of the game. Father and son, apparently playing on the same team, impatiently await Mom’s gambit, and she relishes this moment of power over her family. Her look is fixed not on the gameboard but on her husband, and it’s clear from her expression that she fully appreciates the erotic possibilities of Outwit, the give and take, the improvisation and responsiveness that the game demands. As for the arrangement of the board, the boys are hunched defensively to block Mom’s progress, while her pieces are flayed about the field of play, evincing a Strategy Of No Strategy At All. The result is inconclusive. The potential is infinite. What better endorsement for the game!


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