Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review of The Presidential Game

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Most kids love board games and mine are no exception! So when the Crew had the chance to review a board game I jumped at the chance. The fact that the board game just happened to feature presidential politics and the electoral college whetted my appetite even further. After all, what better entertainment could there be for a political scientist and her kids than a board game called The Presidential Game?

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The Presidential Game operates on a fairly simple premise: playing as either Republicans or Democrats (players can play in teams so the game is not limited only to two players), players can choose on a turn either to campaign in three states (of the fifty) or to fund raise in one of four (the big electoral vote-getters). By proceeding in this manner (obviously there are more rules, but the game is fairly simple and straightforward), teams (political parties) collect electoral votes and make their way toward the White House (an electoral victory).

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The game is incredibly well-designed and explained. It is of the highest quality and is designed for longevity. Even better, though, after playing it just a few times both you *and* your children will understand how our president is elected in a more complete way than probably most other American citizens. That is more than worth the price of admission. If you look at the graphic below, a bunch of other people agree.

The Delgados and The Presidential Game

My kids couldn't wait to dive into this game. There was a momentary hitch when they realized someone had to be on the Democrats' team, but they got over that pretty quickly when a friend of mine suggested that, really, that team could be called anything. So now we have Republicans and Independents ;-) Nothing about the game play changes. Therese (12) read the directions to the other kids (10, 8, and 8) and they were all up and running within minutes. They all had a somewhat working knowledge of the electoral college prior to playing the game, but I don't think that any working knowledge is necessary in order to understand the game and get playing quickly. The directions do all of the explaining.

In the first picture in the graphic, you can see the game's accompanying web app which allows you to track the electoral votes that you gain as a player. It really adds an extra dimension to the game, but it is not essential to game play. If you have a computer or an iPad handy, though, it is a really nice way to see at a glance how things stand.

The Nitty Gritty

The Presidential Game costs $35.00 and is recommended for ages 11 and up. While it is a real asset to your study of American government, it is also a lot of fun just as a board game. My kids really recommend it! Nicky (10) sums it up with "It's a lot of fun!" That's about as good a sales pitch for anything school-related as you're going to get from a 10 year-old boy!

Lots of other Crew members have been playing The Presidential Game, so be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews.


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1 comment:

  1. Would you be interesetd in reviewing our Election board game?