One of the nice perks to blogging is definitely having people send me fun things to review and give away. The games from Out of the Box Publishing definitely fall in the “fun” category. I’ve mentioned one of the games, 10 Days in the USA, in a couple of my Weekly Wrap-Up posts. We’ve enjoyed playing that one as part of our Fifty State Fridays. We were also sent 10 Days in Europe, which, I expect, will be played quite a bit as we prepare for our homeschool group’s Around the World Day this fall.
The premise is similar in both games: Be the first player to travel from one point to another through a series of connections involving travel by plane, boat/automobile, or foot. It sounds simple enough…until you realize that you don’t get to choose the order in which you place your first ten games tiles in their card holders. You quickly realize that planning and strategy and a little bit of luck are required to successfully navigate your way to a win. More than once, we’ve thought we had it, only to realize that we didn’t have every connection needed.
My older daughter, Brianna, and I have become quite competitive and, even though the game is suggested for kids ages 10 and up, Josh and Megan have enjoyed playing, too. Although the game tiles do have some facts about the states (or countries), such as the capital, size and population, the educational aspect of these games is not about state facts and trivia, but, rather, geographical awareness and the critical thinking required to plan your strategy.
The games are of a wonderfully high-quality construction. The game board and the tiles are very thick and designed for long life and heavy use and the card holders are solidly constructed wood. One of my favorites things about the games is that they’re simply very aesthetically pleasing. The states (or countries) appear as almost three-dimensional puzzle-type pieces on the game board. While doing our Fifty State Fridays, we actually used the game board for activities other than playing the game just because we liked the way it looked and all the states — even the little ones — are very clearly labeled.
There are currently four games in the 10 Days series, including Africa and Asia. Each sells for $24.99 and is designed for 2-4 players. In addition to the 10 Days games, Out of the Box offers a wide variety of fun, educational, award-winning games that you may recognize, such as Apples to Apples.