The Presidential Game {TOS review}

Game night in our home is on Thursdays. We have a good selection of games to choose from, but seem to end up playing some of our favorites more often than mixing it up a little bit. When I had the opportunity to review the premiere edition of The Presidential Game, I thought that it would be a nice addition to our others and possibly a game that could become one of our favorites.

The Presidential Game is geared towards players ages 11 and above. Canyon sat with us and was able to learn a bit while watching us play, so I later partnered with him and we played against River and Lily, who were on the same team (or in the same political party).

The game comes with everything you need to get going. I had River read through the directions for me, so that I would know how to play. He is my instruction reader and I am so glad that he loves to do that. I then had him walk us through how to play the game and we were able to begin.

The Presidential game may be played with as few as two players, who will compose two teams. One team (or person) will be the Republican Party and the other will be the Democratic Party. The object of the game is the same as it is with any political election and that is to win the most votes. You do that by obtaining the most electoral votes with the least being 270 of the 538 that can be earned. That is how it is done for the official United States Presidential Election.

The length of the game is determined by how many weeks prior to the election that you are campaigning and fundraising. The time of a game can be as long as one hour, which is for a 30-week period. Players are able to campaign through the country and fundraising may be done in the “big money” states of California, Florida, New York and Texas.

Basically, the earning or loss of electoral votes is determined by the rolling of the dice, pulled political cards (from the deck) and the distribution of your chips, which represent electoral votes.

A possible deck card that can be pulled is one that says:

Your opponent wears loafers to a fundraiser at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western heritage in Oklahoma City.

As a result of his faux-pas (maybe cowboy boots would have been a better choice), you are able to add three electoral votes to your campaign in the state of Oklahoma.

Each roll of the dice or turn, your party must either campaign or raise funds. Some strategy involved is determining the distribution of your votes throughout the country.

I was looking forward to the game being fun with some learning along the way, which there was and continues to be every time that we play. The Presidential Game pretty much takes you through the election process, which I was hoping to learn more about. I have never really understood the electoral process past me going to the voting precinct and casting my ballot. River, Lily and Canyon always go with me and have watched me cast my ballot, but I was never able to really add anything to that learning experience.

Although there are many other political parties, the game focuses on the primary two; Republicans and Democrats. My children have yet to really choose a political side, but we were able to discuss issues that would be applicable to the decision making process of helping them determine which political party they may consider. They understand that one day, they will have the privilege of voting and although a candidate or political party may not necessarily align with all of their personal views, that they will have to make voting decisions on a candidate or issue that best will accommodate their lives.

There is a free, online and interactive electoral WebMap calculator that is available to players, which allows players to keep track of their electoral votes on a map. We did not use this feature and I instead let the children continue to keep up with their votes manually. I think it did them well to add and subtract and keep up with their electoral votes without the use of the online feature. As we continue to play the game, I am sure that I will eventually let them use it, because the feature is quite cool and useful. I always seem to make things difficult.

River, of course, enjoyed The Presidential Game, because of the amount of strategy that is involved. He and Lily both enjoyed trying to accumulate as many states as possible. Sometimes monopolies are good, especially when you are trying to win. Man, I sound like a politician.

The Presidential Game is available for $35.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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