New game excites students

Last updated 13:00 25/11/2009
CREATING A MONSTER: Ranzau School pupils Alaina Burr, left, and Olivia Wells, both 10, with their  creature that they created by playing the new game Palago.
COLIN SMITH/Nelson Mail
CREATING A MONSTER: Ranzau School pupils Alaina Burr, left, and Olivia Wells, both 10, with their creature that they created by playing the new game Palago.

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Ten-year-old Alaina Burr has big expectations of a new game she and other Ranzau School pupils have just helped launch.

The strategy game, Palago, played with 48 tiles, has been invented by the Nelson-based creator of Tantrix, Mike McManaway, and Australian mathematician Cameron Browne.

After playing the game with her classmate Olivia Wells, Alaina said: "I totally enjoyed it, and I reckon it could become a worldwide game."

The reason why she liked it is: "Because you have to make up monsters."

Mr McManaway is hoping Palago will become as successful as Alaina predicts, and at least as popular as his Tantrix game which has sold more than three million copies.

Palago can be played by one person like solitaire, as a serious strategy game for two people, or a family co-operative game. It uses hexagonal tiles to create Palagonian creatures.

The creature Alaina and Olivia created had a monkey-like tail, two fingers and one eye. "I like the creating part of the game," Alaina said.

Ranzau School acting principal Dave Sampson said when students were working on the game it created a a lot of excitement. "They like the open-endedness of the game where anything is possible."

The creature which two other pupils, Nicholas Terrell, 11, and George Franklin, 10, came up with will be used as part of the game's instruction booklet.

Mr McManaway plans to promote the game at the world's largest international toy and game trade fair, in Germany in February and has high hopes for it to be voted best game, saying it has wider appeal than Tantrix.

"People can't believe that even though the tiles are identical they can make a billion different creatures."

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- The Nelson Mail

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