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Before the week is out...: Play this

THE FRENCH invasion continues - dance music, Levi's Flat Eric, and now board games. The strategy game "Abalone" was invented by two French musicians and has been selling like hotcakes in Europe for the past 10 years. It defies precise definition (but think of a cross between chess and draughts played with marbles), has sold more than 3 million copies and been voted game of the decade at the Cannes International Games Festival. On the Continent Abalone has such a following that the brand now includes a jazz record label, a range of sportswear clothing and a sailing venture. Due in the UK at the end of the month, it looks like Monopoly might have a rival at last. IK

Enquiries, tel: 01482 342291. Rrp pounds 19.99