What child doesn't love a good game? What parent doesn't love it when they can combine a game with some learnin'? I don't know of any in either category.
We were recently given the opportunity to enjoy a little fun learning when we were given a chance to review The Presidential Game. Anybody who's tried, and failed, to explain the electoral college to their child will probably appreciate this game.
About The Presidential Game
Do you have what it takes to become president? In this game of strategy, you'll get a chance to find out while learning a bit about the electoral college system at the same time.
The game is played in two teams, Republicans vs. Democrats. You can play with as little as two people or form teams if you have more people who'd like to play.
As in real life, you are battling against the other team to gain control of the electoral votes. Campaign or fundraise, you make the call. Discovery which strategy works best for you.
The game comes with a sturdy board, six dice, politic cards, voting chips, score pad and access to their online, interactive web map. Everything you need to take over the world. ;)
After our initial argument about who would be part of which party, we decided to play in teams. Kevin and Mackenzie, Republicans vs. me, Genius Party. (I decided to form my own. lol) Now before you worry about having to play for the political party that you disagree with, there is no political ideology anywhere in the game. You will not be campaigning on the issues so you don't have to stress about defending any platforms or positions on the big issues. You can save the heated debate for coffee later, when the kids are in bed. lol
The first thing that I did was read the instructions, which I'll admit confused me a bit. I could not wrap my mind around the voting chips for whatever reason. So I made Kevin read them and we came to a consensus. The interactive web map also contains the game instructions and I found a discrepancy or two between the instructions in the box and what was on the web map. We decided to stick with what came in the box.
We decided to play using the interactive web map because we didn't feel the need to do math while having fun. You can access it on the computer, smart phone, iPad or whatever you had. If you don't have those things then you can use the handy dandy score pad. You'll be doing a lot of math on it so make sure you have a pencil with a good eraser. lol
First you have to decide how many "weeks" that your campaign will run. The recommend 30 weeks. All this means is that each team gets 30 turns before the game is over. A 30 week team lasts about an hour. We went with 15 weeks because that's what our attention span prefers. At the end of your time period, the party with the 270 electoral votes wins.
You have two options for your turn, campaign for votes or fundraise.
When you campaign, you chose three states to campaign in and then roll your 3 colored dice. One you roll you add up your dice total and that's how many votes you get to divide as you wish between the states you chose. Just take your chips and place them on the states. Finding the states is also a great way to study geography. lol
You can also fundraise. You are limited to the big vote states (NY, CA, FL, TX). You chose the state you fundraise in, roll, add your total. In the case of fundraising, you have to place half of what you rolled in the fundraising state but you can use the rest of the votes as you wish. Also, when you choose this option you get a politics card which will get you more votes to use right then or during another turn. The cards do not touch on any political issues, they just say things like "You own two rescue dogs. Animal rights people love you. Pick up 5 votes to be used any way you like."
Kevin and Mackenzie went for the big states. My strategy was to go for as many of the small states as I could nab.
The Genius Party pulled off the win!! I should rule the world. And yes, I know we don't have 270 votes but we were only playing for 15 turns.
All in all, it gave Mackenzie a good idea of how the electoral college works. (She thinks it's stupid and confusing. lol) That being said, this was not her favorite game. I think playing on a team and sharing the decision making took some of the fun out of it for her. My husband and I liked the strategy aspect of it. I think Mackenzie will enjoy it a little more when she's a tad older.
Age Range: 11+
Price: $35 + S/H