Over the last few weeks, we’ve been chronicling an epic sixteen-person game tournament held by our friends at Penny/Dell Puzzles.
In Round 1, the field was culled from sixteen players to eight after well-contested battles of On the Dot and Bananagrams.
In Round 2, it was halved again as this group of elite puzzlers went to war in games of Timeline and Qwirkle.
In Round 3, two more contenders said goodbye as an intense game of Sheriff of Nottingham determined the finalists.
Only two competitors remained — #TeamNikki and #TeamGordon — and with only one more round standing between them and the title of PDP Tabletop Champion, spirits were high and anticipation reached a fever pitch.
What awaited them in the finals? Let’s find out, shall we?
Unlike the previous rounds, this was a head-to-head match-up, winner-take-all. So, naturally, we made posters to hype the event like a prizefight.
The game for the finals? Linkee.
Linkee is a trivia game that requires both general knowledge and associative thinking. Each trivia card has a letter on the back, and the traditional goal of the game is to acquire enough letter cards to spell “LINKEE.” (But for the purposes of the tournament, the first person to collect six cards would be the winner.)
One person acts as the Question Master, while the other players each grab a pencil and pad. The Question Master reads each of the four questions on the card. The players write down the answers and try to figure out what theme links the four answers.
The first player to shout out “LINKEE!” and identify the link gets the letter card. You can shout out “LINKEE!” at any point, but if you’re wrong, you’re out until the next card is played. So confidence and boldness has to be tempered with strategy.
That’s what makes the game more intriguing than your average trivia game. It’s not just knowing the answers to individual trivia questions; it’s figuring out the link between them, and doing so before your opponents.
[The room was packed with enthusiastic fans and interested parties,
including many of the competitors from the tournament.]
Gordon had an inauspicious start to the game, as he figured out the link between the first card’s questions, but neglected to yell out “LINKEE!” first, disqualifying himself from scoring the point.
Nikki, seizing the advantage after scoring that first point, quickly followed up, cracking the links for the next four cards, leaping out to a commanding lead. It seemed like a shut-out was imminent and Nikki would be crowned the winner in commanding fashion.
But no, Gordon would not go away quietly. As Nikki puzzled over the possible links for the game point, Gordon yelled out “LINKEE!” and scored his first point.
It was now Nikki’s LINKE to Gordon’s L. This would not be the clean sweep many expected after the opening flurry of action.
Gordon scored a second point (for the I), and then a third for the N. It was now LINKE to LIN. There was a change in the air, a buzz of excitement among the spectators, a frisson of uncertainty. It would appear we had a Comeback Kid on our hands.
On the next card, both players yelled “LINKEE!” simultaneously, and the judges couldn’t decide who was first, so that card was discarded.
Astonishingly, Gordon followed that up by going on to score two more points back-to-back, tying Nikki LINKE to LINKE. Hollywood could not have scripted it any better…
The next point scored would determine the winner of the entire tournament.
Our Question Master delivered the next four trivia questions, and Gordon shouted “LINKEE!” and answered that “Italian names ending with i” was the link. There was a gasp from the crowd! Had he pulled off the comeback of the century?
Unfortunately, no. The correct answer was “Italians.” By being so specific, he made his guess incorrect. (Versace, one of the trivia question answers, doesn’t end in i.)
That card was ignored, and a new one selected. For now, the finals would continue.
But not for long, as Nikki would secure the game-winning point with one final cry of “LINKEE!”, earning her sixth and final point.
At the 38 minute mark, the finals were over, and a new champion was crowned. #TeamNikki had triumphed!
After congratulations were offered to both competitors for a worthy battle, Nikki was awarded not only her Game Night Prize Pack (consisting of popcorn, candy, and two games: Forbidden Island and Exquisite Beast), but the championship crown and scepter!
She was even crowned by last year’s winner in a marvelous little passing-of-the-torch ceremony.
With the tournament concluded, our Tabletop Day festivities had begun, and audience members became players as games of Loonacy, Slapzi, and Timeline quickly formed while participants grabbed snacks, including some amazing D20-frosted cookies:
We had a full spread of games available for visitors to enjoy, and regular readers of the blog would no doubt recognize several of the games on display, including Tak, Qwirkle, Tsuro, and Fluxx.
And, as it turns out, Nikki wasn’t quite finished with her winning ways, as she proved victorious in every round of Loonacy she played after the finals.
All in all, it was a marvelously successful day to cap off an incredible tournament, full of spirited competition, tabletop fun, and puzzly displays of skill. Sure, we celebrated International Tabletop Day a few days early, but we did it in style.
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