Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cranium Jam Pack Jam

Subject: Math
Category: Arithmetic/Spacial Relation
Ages: not specified, 3+

# of players: 2 - 4
Time to play: 20 minutes
Mechanics/Game Type: Simulation

Ratings (1 to 5)

Educational Value: 4
Gaming value: 4
Aesthetic value: 3
Price value: 3
Ease of play: 5
Younger adaptability: N/A

My comments: While this should probably not be listed as uncommon, it's made by Cranium so you know you'll see it in all the stores, I just couldn't resist reviewing it. In any event, it's a 2007 game so maybe it is still a bit uncommon.

It's all about getting as much stuff jammed into the trunk of a cool little toy SUV. Cards are dealt and players can choose items from their hand to try and pack into the trunk on their turn. Each round goes by very quickly making this ideal for the young players and the Mommies who are teaching them to play. The game comes with all sorts of odd shaped items to pack such as a guitar, suitcase, rug, aquarium, spare tire and a skate board among other things.

Once a player finishes his turn he tallies up the number of items he was able to fit into the trunk and records it on the score card. I use this as an opportunity for my 5yo to practice writing his numbers and I even let him add up the score after the final round. So while this is not an overtly mathematical game I do still place it in that category for the adding/counting practice as well as the continuous estimating done during the actual packing.

This can easily be converted to a solo game or just a quick 5 minute game by leaving out the score pad. link to this game:

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