Monday, September 23, 2013

TOS Review: The Presidential Game

I had a brief stint as a political activist in my youth. I attended a protest and I almost got to participate in a “sit-in.” Instead, I had to attend a choir competition. Ding Dong it! You can see that my activism only extended to space on my social calendar. That being said, I have always had strong political “leanings” and once accused my parents as being “moderates” (the horror….I was about 15). 

My husband and I follow elections (as should all Americans) and go to the polling stations having done our homework on the issues. We also take Josiah to the polls with us. He has been with me so many times he’s convinced he, himself, has done his bit for our great democracy. 

When I received the opportunity to review The Presidential Game, I was thrilled. Josiah and I love playing games and this seemed like a great one to add to our stash of family games. Games are a great opportunity for family’s only a “win-win” situation when that game is educational. 

What I Received

The Presidential Game is a two-time winner of the National Parenting Center of Approval and received the Family Review Gold Award in 2012. So you can see that I don’t really need to talk it up.  It comes with good credentials. 

It was created for ages 11 and up, but as you play this game in teams, I am sure you can buddy up a younger child with one of the teams. I have a few nieces that are just a bit younger than would eat this game up. You can guess what the teams consist of. Yep. One team are Democrats and the other  Republicans. You obviously need 2 or more players. 

The game comes with the following: 

  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Score Pad
  • 3 Blue Dice and  3 Red Dice
  • 80 Politics Cards
  • 40 "Write-Your-Own" Politics Cards
  • 150 Republican Red Vote Chips
  • 150 Democrat Blue Vote Chips
  • 1 Electoral WebMap™ Calculator Access Code
So how does it work? This is all about the Presidential Campaign, folks.  Each team is playing to reach the required 270 electoral votes to win the Presidential election. The players learn about the campaign trail and our election process...which obviously can be fairly cutthroat!  

Before rolling the dice, your team has to decide if you are going to fundraise or campaign. If your team decides to hit the campaign trail, you must choose the three states you will be campaigning in during that turn. Each state may only be visited once each turn.  

 If your team decides that fundraising is the way to go, there are only four states that you are allowed to fundraise in… California, Texas, New York and Florida. Josiah was pretty insulted that Missouri wasn’t on the list. I suppose we are short on high rollers. After you roll the dice, you must allocate at least ½ of your total number to one of those states. You are then allowed to put the remaining number of votes on any state of your choosing. 

After your team “fundraises,” you choose a Politics Card. These can be quite the kicker. I drew one that gave to me what I needed to take “New York” during one of our games. My guys weren’t too pleased with me. 

Some of the Politics Cards were obviously taken from real life politics. There was the one in which your team lost points because your running mate insisted he or she could see Russia from his or her house (hmmm). Then there are those that can teach students a little bit more about different areas of the country and why certain policies a candidate might take up would benefit him or her in a particular state. 

This is one. You favor continuing all farm subsidies. Add 2 votes to Iowa and 2 votes to Nebraska. Obviously, I am able to share with Josiah why farming subsidies would be so important to those 2 states. Or how about this one. You drive American cars while your opponent owns several foreign cars. Add 4 votes to Michigan.  

There are also 40 “write your own” Politics Cards. We haven’t used those yet. I am afraid to see what Josiah would come up with!  

It is suggested that before you begin to play the game you decide how many weeks you want the campaign to last. During our first go around, we decided we wanted the game to last until one team reached 270 points. That takes a long time. There are rules available if you decide on a shorter game on how states that are still in play or neutral will be won. The team that reaches 270 electoral votes wins the whole shebang. Which in this case is The Presidential Election.

There is a scoring pad available, but we used the handy dandy WebMap Calculator online. This made math for me so much easier…and I didn’t have to keep track of the trickery and strategy that goes on with all the vote stealing! You can see a screen shot of it right here.

How We Used It

This was a great game! I can also see this game being played with multiple generations. I have a few strategists in my family that would eat this sort of thing up. I want to show you want went down when we played with Daddy. Also known as, Troy (aka The Muffin). The rest of the players were Josiah (aka The Boy) and Me (aka Mom). 

Troy and Josiah made up one team. I was the other. I have to say that it got vicious. And I have to say that had I been paying better attention during this particular game (as opposed to taking pictures) I could have wiped them all off the map. 

The Boy Team. Also known as the Republicans get their game faces on. At least, I hope that's a game face. 
 What is pretty great about this game is that there are other skills involved (other Social Studies). Josiah had to use his math and reading skills.

 The Boys discuss strategy. And they plot to take away one of my states I had just won. Buggers.
 Josiah enjoyed reading the Politics Cards. Be warned. There are some of the scenarios given that are taken straight from the headlines (which means they aren't necessarily all that savory). Josiah was properly scandalized when he discovered that his fictional "uncle" had gotten drunk at the picnic on cheap beer. 
 The game board got pretty wild. The closer we got to the end of the game the crazier things got.

 Hawaii changed hands several times.

 And I as the Democratic Candidate, won Missouri early on...only to have it taken from me. Buggers.
 The winning Party flaunts his victory. 

 I am not going to get into any political argument here, but I have to say I didn't hate the end result (even though I lost) :<)

We had so much fun with this one! I can see this game being in use quite a bit.

The Presidential Game can be purchased here for $35.00. I believe it is a great addition to your closet full of games (don’t tell me you don’t have one of those!). I guarantee you it will be a hit with your family as well. 

You can check out more reviews here.



1 comment:

  1. Great review, Rebekah! My family would love to play this one.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...