New game of the week

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Board games in general fall into five categories: there are race games, war games, acquisition games, knowledge games and partnership games. Ludo, chess, Monopoly, Scrabble and bridge. Compatibility from Spear's (price pounds 19.99), falls into the last category and is typical of the genre in that it provides a framework for pairs of friends to become furious with each other.

The rules are simple: a word is selected at random from the "topic cards", and each player must then select, from their pack of "Compatibility cards" a number of pictures they consider most appropriate to the topic. You score points if you turn out to have selected the same pictures as your partner.

So, for example, when the topic word was "elope", I picked cards depicting a sunset, a mobile phone, a globe of the world, and a card indicating the word "sex" - all of which, I thought, added up to a picture of a romantic moonlight flit - and a picture of a lion, for the obvious pun elope-elope. My partner, however, picked a couple in formal wedding attire, a man kissing a woman's neck, a red rose, the word "happiness" and a baby. Ridiculous. The kissing couple are obviously perfectly happy. Why should they elope? Even if they did, the wedding would hardly be a bridal gown and dress coat affair. And the suggestion that a baby is already on the way is, I think, quite out of order.

It was just as bad with "bricklayer". My partner picked the White House, a Skyscraper, a dingy-looking Italianate tenement building, a wooden framework of a new house, and a child's drawing of two girls outside their home. I could only think of the last bricklayer we employed, so picked a "Stop" sign (which he did whenever we left the house), a question mark, indicating our bemusement at his slow work-rate, a totally blank card (because he was never there) a mobile phone (which he seemed to be talking on whenever he did turn up) and the card saying "stress".

Score zero again. Still, what can one expect of a partner who does not even have the wit to think of a simple pun.