Pull My Fingers, All Of Them! - Crossing Review

I'd never even heard of this game before I got a copy of it so my initial thoughts were a little uneasy. However I noticed that it was a 15 minute game, putting it in the filler category. Such titles are useful for two reasons when I'm reviewing games. Firstly they are quick to get to the table and thus easier to get many plays in. Secondly I can teach the game to anyone I know! You know how hard it is to find guinea pigs for 3 hour long complex games?

The Minimum Age figure however showed 6+, meaning for me in my mind this is a game intended for children. Now I have to be honest here, I don't have kids and I don't intend to have them either so naturally a game like this isn't one I would be housing in my collection. It means you can take my opinion with a pinch of salt, however I have plenty of friends with children to play this with and children are frequently seen at local Dice Portsmouth events so if it's any good, I'm sure it will find a good home and be enjoyed by many. So let's dive into the unknown with a game focused on lots of . . . . . pointing.


Designer: Yoshiteru Shinohara
Publisher: Space Cowboys / Cocktail Games
Age: 6+
Players: 3-6
Time: 15 Minutes
RRP: £16.99


Pull My Finger. . . . No Wait. . . 


The aim of Crossing is simple. Get the most points by the end of the game by way of collecting lots of different colour gemstones. These are laid out at random on Mushroom tiles in the centre of the table and each player will have their own character board as well. On each round every player will simultaneously point at either a mushroom or a character tile in order to steal the gems off it. One catch, if anyone else is pointing at your tile, neither player gets anything. So you're trying to be the only person after one particular tile.

Players also have to defend their own tile to stop anyone stealing their own collected gems. Instead of pointing at a tile you may cover your own tile with your hand to stash the gems out of play for scoring later. However doing so costs you a turn so you have to consider how often you can afford to do this. Once the gem bag runs out, players total up their points and of course, who do you think is the winner at this point?

A Cluster of Themes


Firstly after opening the box, despite the high price point it's certainly not skimped on component quality. The artwork is very colourful and appealing and the gemstones feel good and are nice and large, no titchy little coloured cubes here. It's hard to tell exactly what universe this is meant to be based on other than a myriad of fantasy ideas because on the one hand you've got goblins, elves and dwarves, but then on the other side you've got pixies, fairies and giant mushrooms. It's a little weird, but at the end of the day, the theme is pasted on as there's no difference between the races other than a colour preference.

I'm not entirely sure why the name "Crossing" was used either. Considering what you're doing in this game, the name seems a little misleading, not to mention it doesn't explain anything when you pick up the box and read it. But read the rulebook and you'll quickly at least get the gist of the game. It's frightfully simple to set up, play and put away that you can be up and running in less than 5 minutes and dusted within a further 15 minutes. This is a very quick game with little to no complexities at all, therefore perfect for the young families. There was zero need to check the rulebook for anything other than end-game scoring.


1...2...3...TENSION!



The crux of the game is all about getting in your opponent's head. Where will they point, are they after your gems or one of the big ones in the centre? There's plenty to consider from a bluffing standpoint and you have to think fast because the game doesn't hang about. This is where the big enjoyment comes though, the constant thoughts of dealing with your opponents and the tension of pointing and quickly checking if you made the right move, resulting in either a sigh of welcome relief or a quick exclaim of "Damnit" when you see another finger pointing where you are. Of course with little kids you wouldn't say this would you, maybe something a little more English family friendly like "Oh Bother" or something! But it's good tension in lots of little short bursts. Naturally if you get knocked out of a round constantly then you have zero chance of winning and it can feel a little random, but remember that is a kids level game that takes 15 minutes so it's a brief defeat!

Now the pointing aspect can get a bit muddled at times so you will need to set some clear ground rules for how this is to be handled. I use a standard "1-2-3-Point" system which works well, but obviously you need to ensure that everyone is pointing their fingers simultaneously and clearly otherwise you're going to get cheating allegations fly around. It's a minor point, but bare this in mind before you start playing. Of course even if you forget, it's not like you can't just simply start again given how quick Crossing is.


Verdict


Crossing is a solid little game for the younger generation. Whereas I don't see this ever being played among hardcore gamers, it is perfectly suitable for families with young children. The recommended minimum age of 6 means this is a good little entry point for kids into games. The rules can be taught in less than 5 minutes and a game can be wrapped up in 15 minutes making it perfect for even for children with the lowest of attention spans.

The pointing aspect will take some clear ground rules to be set in place before the game starts, but otherwise this provides a decent amount of fun in getting in your opponents heads about where you're aiming for. The component quality is solid though an RRP of £16.99 seems like a pretty high price point for a 15 minute filler. It's not one I would end up keeping as I have little interaction with kids, but I know someone who will definitely appreciate bringing their youngest son into board games with this visually appealing little filler.


If you are interested in this game you can find a copy at your friendly local gaming store - http://www.findyourgamestore.co.uk/



YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF:


You want a game that's appropriate for young children.


You need a super quick filler, this can be wrapped up in 15 minutes including teaching with ease.


Your enjoy games where you get in the other person's head - and you need to do it quickly!



YOU WILL NOT LIKE THIS GAME IF:


You feel the game hinges more on simple guessing.


You want something with more meat - this is a push your luck / take-that game for young players.


You play this only with 3 players - higher numbers results in much more choice.

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