Most board games that I play are very logical. Perform this action and such-and-such happens — points are scored, a card is drawn, a pawn is moved. Orderly. Controllable. In these games, the goal is to make a good strategy, execute, and be flexible if the game requires it.

We board game enthusiasts like our mechanisms and our storage to be nice and orderly.

There are also games that are just silly — many party games for example. These game generally evoke laughter from wacky requirements or to the game’s ability to make your mind freeze over the simplest questions.

My oldest son and I have come across a game recently that enters into the realm of Weird.


And no…not because the game is inherently weird. The core of the game: each player starts with an even stack of cards. On ‘go’, everyone places a card down from their stack. Then, be the first to shout a color that is only on one card. As you can probably tell, this game comes down to quick visual recognition.

My son and I are both pretty good at this. And we don’t like the other one beating us. So, the already quick play of this game starts to become sonic in speed.

To the point, in which, at times we both hit a bit of a “zone.” The cards have barely hit the table and a color is being shouted out. Not just a random guess, but the right color. You just see it — in the blink of an eye, red is here and not there. Nerves are working at a lightning pace between the eyes, brain, and mouth.

It feels so good when you are the one hitting the zone — but frustratingly annoying when it is your opponent. Stop being so quick!!

I fear that this RubikESP — as I’m calling it — comes at a cost. In my experience, to enter the Zone — to be on the verge of “knowing” what is coming next — requires blindness. Specifically one color. In my case, it was yellow. I could call out White like I was born with the color in my blood (please, no scientific comments about white blood cells…let’s keep this metaphysical). Red, Green, Blue…bam, bam, bam!! Yellow? I just stall out. Like I couldn’t even see it. In our first game, it was green that I lost due to hitting the Zone.

I can’t explain how this happens — oh wait, yes I can. It is The Weird. You don’t always need Lovecraftian Tentacles of Arkham Madness to find it. Let a little Rubik into your life, and you will be steeped in it before you can shout Blue!

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