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Smess is a game information page. It is categorized as: Two dimensional, In a category all its own, Sold commercially.

Smess. British name of Smess, a Parker Brothers game in which arrows on squares determine the directions pieces may move. (7x8, Cells: 56) (Recognized!)

Author: Fergus Duniho and David Howe. Inventor: Perry Grant.


Smess, described as the Ninny's Chess, is sort of a simplified version of Chess for children, though adults can enjoy it too. It is a much simpler game to learn than Chess, because arrows on the board indicate which directions pieces can move, and the object is simply to capture a piece called the Brain. So young players don't have to remember how different pieces move, and they don't have to comprehend the concept of checkmate. Young children can be given the game and start playing it with only minimal instruction. Smess was a commercial game which Parker Brothers put out in the 1970's, and the design of the board and pieces is one which can appeal to children and to the young at heart. The squares had different shapes and sizes of arrows, and squares were placed on the board as though they were unevenly placed tiles. The pieces are funny looking and have silly names. Ninny, Numskull, and Brain. So the game is easy to learn and fun to look at. Besides this, it is, like Chess, a challenging game of wits. It's a simple game, but against a good opponent, it's also a difficult game. It's also good for stimulating original thinking among veteran Chess players, because the game is so different from what veteran Chess and Chess variant players are used to. If you're the sort of Chess variant player who likes something really different, give Smess a try.

Other Information

The board used for this game has 8 row(s), 7 column(s), 56 cells/squares.
This game is a 2 player game.
Invented in the year 1970. [1969-1971]. [1965-1975].

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Group ID 'Smess'