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GAMES : 2--Only 2--Can Play Enchanting Evening

April 29, 1993|MARIA D. LASO | Maria D. Laso is a member of The Times Orange County Edition staff. and

An Enchanting Evening bills itself as a beautiful game for a couple to share. It is not a parlor game, in the sense that only two people can play. But you can play in the parlor if you like--whatever works for you.

The length of play can vary, so we, like the game manufacturer (Games Partnership Ltd. of San Francisco), recommend that you leave open a specific time and date to play. The two of you can build up anticipation for the event.

As the directions state, "When and where an Enchanting Evening is played is as important as the game itself. The atmosphere should be one that invites relaxation and pleasure." The game includes playing cards, a game board and dice. Among items recommended but not included are candlelight and/or firelight, soft background music, tantalizing edibles and a favorite beverage (enough so you don't have to get up or run out).

Although attire is a personal thing, we recommend comfortable lounging clothes. Definitely finish dipping strawberries, chilling champagne or filling the CD carousel before beginning the game.

And yes, this is a game, of sorts. The key is the cards, 25 in each of four categories, with instructions for little topics of conversation or side events. Think of it as truth-or-dare for lovers--minus any humiliation factor.

Before the game begins, each partner writes out a wish; they are kept hidden. Whoever travels the board first wins, and the loser must fulfill the wish. The idea is that, in fact, both players win. (Tip: Do not wish for your car to be hand-waxed, or we predict you will not play this game a second time.) The wish should be something that can be completed in the same afternoon or evening that the game is played.

To play, the high roller starts. Every space is marked with a symbol corresponding to one of the card piles. Draw from the appropriate pile, read the card aloud and follow its instructions. Play alternates. When a player lands on one of the corner roses, he or she uses the turn to replenish food or drinks.

For relatively new couples, this can be a good way to get to know each other better and get closer. It does not have to be dirty, but it can get intimate. The game is often given as a wedding or engagement gift, which is nice, but might be more appreciated on, say, a fifth or 25th anniversary.

An Enchanting Evening is about $26 and is available at the lingerie department of Bullock's stores and other lingerie stores as well as game stores such as I Love Games Too in San Clemente and Gameskeeper in Santa Ana, or call (415) 495-4411 for a store near you.

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