Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lewis and Clark Adventure Game, The

Subject: History
Category: US
Ages: 8 to adult
# of players: 2 to 4
Time to play: 90 minutes
Mechanics/Game Type: set collection, roll and move/trivia

Ratings (1 to 5)

Educational Value: 5
Gaming value: 3
Aesthetic value: 4
Price value: 5
Ease of play: 4
Younger adaptability: 5 (Very easy to coach youngers, give token instead of asking question)

My comments: The value of this game is in the board--beautifully drawn and loaded with information about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Even each space has some bit of historic fact along with the action. It also comes with pretty beads for trading (they're small, so watch out with little ones around!) My only complaint is that the front and back of the Skill/Chance cards and Transportation cards look so similar that it is difficult to tell if cards are right-side-up.

Each player is dealt 3 cards; each card is a mode of transportation (moccasin, keel boat, horse, canoe.) You need the correct transportation to progress over certain parts of the board; you can also trade or buy these cards. You roll and move, then do what is stated on the space, including drawing a skill/chance card. If you land on a compass, you spin the spinner (built into the board) to indicate which of 4 questions to read. If you get it right, you get a token for that category. You must collect all 4 tokens and go around the board to win. There's a beginner and an advanced trivia card set.

This game has a lot of great educational information. As a game, it can be quite long if people do not land on the trivia spaces, so you end up going around the board again (see tip below). It involves a little math, too (when you trade in one mode of transportation to buy another and figure out what balance is owed.) As with any trivia game, it's life is limited.

One tip: after a player has gone once around the board, let s/he choose which category of question to answer rather than spinning; otherwise, the game gets excessively LONG as you try to land on a trivia space AND spin the color you need AND answer the question.

BoardGameGeek.com link to this game: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/6970

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