Earlier this week, Judy brought in a children’s game, TossAcross. She claimed it would alleviate stress of the Thanksgiving season when everyone turns into uncooperative piles. I was super excited: who doesn’t want to play extreme tic-tac-toe, complete with oversized board and beanbags perfect for chucking? What we got instead was the most frustrating game ever created. First of all, this game is designed for children, like I’m talking 5 year-olds. So when 10 adults have to take 20 minutes to set it up, you know there is a problem. In fact, pretty much everything about this game was a hassle. I can’t even imagine a little kid trying to play this monstrosity without hulking out with frustration.
Second of all, we had to stick the stickers on ourselves. Like, even the label sticker (that ended up stuck to a desk since we put the legs on backwards so there was no room for a label sticker; that’s a story for another time). We couldn’t understand where to put the stickers, the X and O, on the plastic cheese slices. Do we put 2 Xs and one O, or the other way around? We couldn’t leave one blank. Oh wait, yes we could. That’s the point. One is left blank. After much deliberation, we just kept it consistent. X on one side, blank spot, O on the other side. We then realized that it didn’t really matter. All that deliberation was for nothing because there really is no other way to put the stickers on. It was a triangle.
The game came with 6 beanbags, but they were more like beancloths. The cover of the box was very misleading. I was hard enough just to throw the beanbag and turn over a cheese slice let alone get it to turn the way you want it to. There is literally no skill involved in this game; it’s all chance. It doesn’t matter how your throwing technique is or your physics skills, the gods of TossAcross ultimately decide your fate.
In between trying to figure out how the game even works and dodging beanbag projectiles, this was the most stressful game I have ever had to play, and I’ve played Minesweeper on hard for 3 days. The worst part was, I felt obligated to finish the game. Something deep down inside of me thought it would be satisfied if I’d just finished the game. Even if I didn’t win; just finish the game. It didn’t work that way, because when I did finish I went back to my computer and started picking off the letters on the keyboard.
The worst part is, you’d throw the beanbag trying to turn over a yellow triangle to an X and that SOB would come up an O just to mess with you. Sometimes you’d turn over two at once, only to the advantage of your opponent. Maybe these kindergartners know something we don’t, but this is an impossible game. There are no winners in TossAcross.
And the above picture wasn’t even the end. It steadily got worse and I couldn’t even take any more pictures. I was so frustrated. There was absolutely no way to win this game. In the end, you just end up throwing it as hard as you can just hoping to turn over any yellow piece, not even caring if it’s the one you need. That in itself is considered a victory.
Maybe it would have helped if we’d read the directions.