DISCLAIMER: The opinions, ratings, and reviews stated in this document and related webpages are the sole personal opinions of Wei-Hwa Huang and Wei-Hwa Huang alone. Wei-Hwa Huang does not speak for the more than 100 participants on the Mensa Mind Games selection panel. This is not an official site of Mensa Mind Games or Mensa Select, although the statements on which games are winners of Mensa Select are factually correct. Mensa Mind Games and Mensa Select are registered trademarks of American Mensa.
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This is a set of double-6 dominoes that have been "bent" in 120-degree arcs, such that if you matched three dominoes end-to-end you could form a full circle. (Yes, this does make the dominoes asymmetric, so in case you're curious, the dominoes that have an odd sum are "right-handed", while the dominoes that have an even sum are "left-handed.")
One would think that having bendy dominoes like this would enrich the play of domino games, but the publishers only have one game with their set, and it is the basic "match something at either end game" that people tend not to play if there isn't anyone at the table less than 12 years of age. Most of the traditional domino games can't even be played well because there isn't a clear way of "branching" that these dominoes can do. It's a very-well produced set and the pieces are good to hold and aesthetically-pleasing to look at ... but I can only recommend this purchase to people who like coming up with their own game designs with interesting pieces, or perhaps that the group that is looking for a relatively mindless way to pass the time.
Addendum (2007-05-21): The publishers were very nice and contacted me regarding a few mistakes I had made in this review. First off, upon looking at the actual rules online, it's pretty clear that they list at least four other ways to play the game, one of which ("All Fives") is clearly a Bendomino variation of the classic domino game All Fives, a game which I consider to be much richer in strategy.
Another friend of mine, J. J. Armour from Mind Games, chose Bendomino to take home as her prize and vouches that All Fives is a pretty fun and strategic game.
The publishers also mentioned to me that they feel that the bendy constraint creates more interesting startegy opportunities, as the bent dominoes can block other dominoes from being played, and that doubles can now be played in two ways. In my review above, it's not clear that I had taken this factor into account, so I think I'll clarify that. I felt while playing that the blocking property tends to create more annoyance than strategic opportunities, since while the doubles can be played in more flexible ways, they also tend to be harder to find opportunities to play for. All the flexibility does is control how hard it is for subsequent plays; there's no particular way to target a specific opponent. Overall, I think the bendiness is mostly a net-neutral effect, at least in the basic game.
In any case, based on my re-evaluation above, I'm raising my rating for this game a little bit. The "worth buying" rating has always been high, since even if you don't like the game, the pieces are still fun to play with as a toy.
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