British Library, £10

Buying Ex Libris is much like paying a fiver for a pack of 'special' Bridge cards. It is really nothing more than a Fictionary Dictionary or Poesiemeister variant dressed up in a book-style box and given a literary veneer. Components amount to a notepad, a pack of cards and an old ha'penny (for luck, presumably). That said, I went into the purchase with eyes open - you do get a very nicely produced package with quality materials and it saves you doing the preparatory work. So, having made a distinctly weak attempt at justifying the purchase, I shall explain the game for those unfamiliar with it. The idea is that an author's name and a precis of one of their novels is announced by one player acting as reader for that turn, the other players then write down believable opening and closing lines 'in the style of' the author (this is where everyone tries to avoid doing John Sessions impersonations). They then pass them to the reader who mixes in the two genuine lines, reads them all out and the players vote on the most likely candidates. Points are scored for the most popular lines and for identifying the real ones. Not a game I've actually played yet, or indeed one I can see myself playing while sober, just thought I'd mention it really. Just Games have stocks, as do the British and Bodleian libraries.

MS: The following review fits nicely as I have had a surprising number of requests for comments on Gibson's Fast & Furious, Spear's Nautic Miles and Eurogames' Grass. Being as these games and the one reviewed are really Milles Bornes in varying degrees of disguise, the following notes really apply to all three of them. For Fast & Furious the theme is driving, for Nautic Miles it is convoy actions and for Grass it is peddling illicit substances. Spookily, the same idea has popped up down under as...

On to the review of Entrepeneur or back to the review of Race To Win.

Sumo - Mike Siggins - Legal Notices and Other Information