In 1977 Howard Wexler, designer of such games as Connect 4, Smack-It, & Standoff released a very interesting abstract game called Touché. Touché throughout the decades from been published in several different languages, over a dozen publishers, & under several different names.

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The game of Touché is played by two players, ages eight years to adult, & may take up to thirty minutes to play.

In Touché players will pick 6 pawns that will either be round or square. Inside each of the pawns will be a small magnetic disc that will either be white or red. The player with the round pawns will start with the white side of the disc up & the player that picks the square pawns will start off with the red side of the disc up.

The player with the round pawns will start first. Players must move at least one pawn into the first row in front of their reserve area. After the first pawn is placed into the first row a player may then to choose to either move another pawn into the first row, to jump over the pawn in the first row, or to move an existing pawn.

I must note that after the first initial play, players may choose to move any pawn on the board regardless of what color or shape the pawn is. There is, however, one exception to the rule. A player may not move a pawn that had just been moved.

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The novelty of the game is the magnetic force that emanates from underneath the board. This magnetic force will either flip a token inside a pawn or leave it alone. The only pawns that will be affected by the magnetic force are the ones that are moved, so pawns adjacent to will not be affected.

Players will continue to move pawns until one player is able to get four consecutive pawns of their color lined up. This will give them the win at Touché.

This is a fun abstract game of the past. In a way it is a cross between Othello & Connect 4 with a magnetic twist.  Touché will play different each time so their is no worry about a player learning some sort of board strategy.  There reason for this is that the magnets inside the game can be removed & shuffled around. This causes the magnetic force to become random each time the game is played.

Touché was still most recently published for a new generation of abstract gamers back in 2013 by University Games. The original version of Touché is called Magische-Vier from Diset. In 1979 the game of Touché was up for the Spiel des Jahres when it was republished by Parker Brothers.

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It was so popular that Gabriel Games did a commercial with Dick Van Dyke to promote the game in 1978.

Think, flip, & game on!

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW

Facebook: Board Gaming For the Win

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