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CURRICULUM VITAE: Concentration

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CONCENTRATION
(Visual Puzzle)

Players form two teams. In each round teams try to solve a picture rebus puzzle that is divided into pieces. Teams reveal pieces and earn a chance to guess the rebus by choosing cards in the style of the memory card game Concentration. Cards contain words, and if the chosen cards’ words match as members of a particular category then a rebus puzzle piece is revealed. Each round features 12 word cards and twelve matches, which means that each word is part of two matches: SHELL is a “brand of gasoline” but also a “pasta shape”; BOW TIE is a “pasta shape” but also an “item worn around the neck”; etc.

concentration puzzle

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The picture rebus part of the game is a taken directly from the NBC game show of the same name, but the word matching is based on a category overlap mechanism I’ve used in other puzzles and games, e.g. Triple Bonds in Crowd-Pleasing Puzzles. The game debuted at a LA miniconvention. Andrew Bradburn was one of the players and he volunteered to help write subsequent iterations and also present the game at NPL conventions. In LA, the word cards were letter-size and distributed among the teams so that a player looking for match would choose two people to hold up their cards. At con, teams were smaller and the word cards were index cards arranged on a table. An amusing situation occurred in the debut game which featured the category “types of jelly.” The card words were PETROLEUM (also “things that come from a well”) and KY (also “state postal abbreviations”). The match was discovered, but one of the older players halted the proceedings so that someone could explain to her what KY Jelly was.

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