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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Staying two steps ahead

Two ninjas are locked in combat, each trying to predict his opponent’s next move. The battle is about brain, not brawn. A risky move could mean death, but it could also mean victory.

This is ‘Sen So,’ a strategic card game created by TwinBlade Games, a company located in Bowling Green. TwinBlade was founded in 2006 by Ray Szparagowski and his twin brother Scott.

According to the ‘Sen So’ Web site, players have to set two cards before the card for their current play is revealed.

Szparagowski said this forces the player to plan his or her actions two turns ahead.

‘You don’t use any card draws, all the cards you have in the game are yours to play, and you don’t use dice,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t rely on luck, it purely relies on strategy. Your decisions choose whether you win or lose.’

Szparagowski said a typical game only takes around 20 minutes, and be played by two or more players.

Jonathan Gravitt, president of the Bowling Green Gaming Society, said TwinBlade Games often brings ‘Sen So’ to the society’s meetings to be played.

‘ ”Sen So’ is sort of like a tactical guessing game,’ he said. ‘You have to play your turns two turns in advance. Basically you are trying to guess not only where you will be, but where your opponent will be within those next two turns.’

Gravitt said he would suggest ‘Sen So’ to anyone who enjoys tactical games.

‘The difficulty curve is not that high, you can jump right in by putting down moves and guessing, and you can do almost as well as someone who knows what they are doing,’ he said.

‘Sen So’ has many variations, from Aliens to Pirates to Vikings. Szparagowski said players can mix and match any of the variants, so while the original game was ‘Ninja vs. Ninja,’ it has since evolved to allow nine other types to be played together.

The company is also testing new variants and plans to release more in the future, he said.

The brothers came up with the original version of ‘Sen So’ while attending Eastern Michigan University in the late ’80s, early ’90s. After tweaking the original concept, Szparagowkski said he felt they had to try to do something with it.

‘We needed to try to publish and see if we could sell it,’ he said. ‘Otherwise, it was never going to happen.

Szparagowski said TwinBlade Games often takes the game to conventions, such as Gen Con in Indianapolis.

He said there was a good turnout at Gen Con last year, where ‘Sen So’ demonstrations had at least a 75 percent turnout at each of their scheduled events.

Last year’s Gen Con was so successful, he said, that TwinBlade Games was listed as a premier game company and given free advertisements this year.

Szparagowski, who works for a seal company in Findlay, said TwinBlade Games only adds a supplemental or hobby income for him. It has not been successful enough yet to pay all his bills.

Szparagowski said the biggest problem is that there is no money spent on advertising.

‘We haven’t spent any money on marketing and advertising. We’ve only done it by going to conventions, having playtested demos, and word of mouth,’ he said. ‘At this point we are not willing to put a bunch of money in to marketing.’

He said they are currently debating finding a publisher to sell the rights to in order to have them market the game more.

So you want to play ‘Sen So’…

‘Sen So’ and its variants can be purchased at twinbladegames.com. Currently there are ten different varieties:

Ninja

Pirate

Gladiator

Viking

Zombie

Space Hunter

Alien

Archer

Robot (free to print and try)

Archaeologist

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