Saturday, May 12, 2007

Through the Desert

Subject: General
Category: Math
Ages: 8 and up
# of players: 2 to 5
Time to play: 30 minutes
Mechanics/Game Type: Tile placement, area enclosure, abstract strategy

Ratings (1 to 5)

Educational Value: 3
Gaming value: 5
Aesthetic value: 5
Price value: 5
Ease of play: 4
Younger adaptability: 2 (small parts!)

My comments: Through the Desert s another wonderful Reiner Knizia game in which players take turn placing pastel-colored camels (cameeples) to create caravans that snake throughout the desert to reach point tiles and oases. You earn points by picking up point tiles, by reaching oases, by having the largest caravan of a particular color, and by sectioning off areas of the board to gain point for entrapped hexagons. As the game gets going, it is reminiscent of Blokus such that one color caravan expands and winds around caravans of other colors.

Like many Euro games, a lot of math skills are involved here even though it is not a "math" game. Skills like addition, spacial relations, and sorting are well-used for this game.

Kids younger than 8 can certainly play this game, but there are a lot of small camels, some with tiny riders placed on them...They are pastel colored, almost like mints in appearance. The game also has palm trees to place on oases, and a hexagon-covered desert board. It comes in a colorful, small, thick box making it very portable. It is definitely a family game to be enjoyed for years. link to this game:

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