The Presidential Game

The following is a review of The Presidential Game completed with the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew.  

Last year during the presidential campaign, I printed coloring sheets for the kids to track the candidates progress. This game teaches so much more than that. Without implying that either party is better or worse, teams progress through campaigning and fundraising with realistic results. Called "the most powerful game in the world", The Presidential Game teaches about how the rise to that powerful position in our country works. One of my daughters shared: "You learn a lot about how many votes count for each state." 

The Presidential Game includes a large game board, score keeping booklet, rule book, dice and tokens for each team, and replica voting buttons on cards to help identify each team. Access to a web calculator is also included in each game box. 

There are two options when playing the Presidential game. Each one has its own benefits or they can even be combined. The written scoreboard can be used at any time. The web map calculator requires an Internet connection. We had a little trouble very first time to play, but the FAQ section on the website gave us a few tips that helped after that and now includes an updated rule book.

First, unlike the score pad version, when using the web map calculator there is very little math involved except for the counting of chips as you add and subtract chips on each state. If you want the child to work on their addition and subtraction you can use the score sheet instead. The website mentions of some troubleshooting tips if the web calculator malfunctions. We experienced that as well. The web calculator actually gave us a bit of trouble when we tried using it on the iPad.  The way it works, though, all you have to do at any time is start over at the campaign week you are playing and enter red or blue for each state. It did work to help us determine results end the game by just entering blue and red states.

Whoever starts the game has the better than advantage as they also start each turn. In each turn around which consist of the Democrat and Republican team each taking turn, each state might only be campaigned in one time. That means the starting team can campaign in the state unblock and essentially block the second team from progressing there. That gives the starting team a bit of an unfair advantage. Players actually experience some of the decisions that face presidential candidates , and it makes you consider which states campaigning or fundraising would be most beneficial in.

One component of fundraising included situations at times taken from real past elections that would cause a candidate to either gain or lose votes in a particular state. Some of these I remembered. All were enlightening teaching moments. The kids of course wanted their team to win and were disappointed if their card suggested they did something wrong. At times, they gained points such as the situation on one card about our country's history: "Your opponent did not remember where one of the Revolutionary Battles occurred. Gain five tokens for your team in Massachusetts." 

We have enjoyed playing this game over and over. "It gives you an idea of how voting works." 
Not only the kids, but the adults in our family, too, will all have a better understanding as we watch our next presidential results. My son is already planning to follow along with the web calculator as he watches the campaign progress. 

This award winning board game (with internet option) is available for $35.00. You can also find the company on Facebook and Twitter. It is recommended for ages 11 and up, though my nine year old easily joined in when we played. It can either be played by two players or two teams. 

 See what other crew members shared in their reviews here.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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