Sunday, July 6, 2008

10 Days in the USA (Europe, Asia, Africa)

Subject: Geography
Category: US (Europe, Asia, Africa)
Ages: 10 and up
# of players: 2 to 4
Time to play: 30 minutes
Mechanics/Game Type: Set collection

Ratings (1 to 5)

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

My comments: The game has a large board picturing the United States, each state of a different color, but you don't play on it. Each player has a tray in which to place 10 "tiles" that are small, thick cards each with a picture of a state along with the capital city and population, as well as car and colored airplane tiles. The object of the game is to create a 10 day trip through the US. You can "walk" to bordering states, meaning the tiles can be placed next to each other in the tray; you can drive 2 states away, meaning you have to place a car between the two states; or you can fly between any two states of the same color so long as you have a plane of that color between them in your tray. You start the game by drawing and placing tiles in your tray--you cannot rearrange a tile once you place it--and you spend the rest of the game trying to complete your trip. The mechanics are easy--draw a tile (from the deck or discard pile) and then discard a tile into 1 of 3 discard piles.

Certainly children younger than 10 can play this game, and you could play "open hand" with younger children with minimal modification to depend more on the luck of the draw rather than the strategy of the discard pile. The parts are well made and colorful, the trays are wood, and the box is small and sturdy. Besides 10 Days in the USA, the company makes 10 Days in Europe, 10 Days in Asia, and 10 Days in Africa. It's a great way to really look at and get to know states and countries. link to this game:

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