195. “Pente, the ancient game of stones.”

The episode:Pod People,” ep. 303

The riff: Said by Tom as the movie’s extremely annoying and weirdly dubbed little boy character is taking out a game for him and Trumpy the Alien to play.

The explanation:Pente” is the name of a game owned by Hasbro that was originally invented in an Oklahoma pizzeria in 1977. It wasn’t particularly original, being based on the ancient Chinese game of “Go.” It is a game of strategy and maneuvering, as players attempt to line up five stones in a row while capturing their opponents stones as well. I’m not certain that the game is still being manufactured commercially today.

Novelty factor: Never heard of this one in my life. It sounds like there are dozens of variations on what is essentially the same game. Lot of frustrated game makers out there, trying to capitalize in the heady world of Big Game Dollars by putting minor spins on an ancient classic.

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