Sunday, September 22, 2013

REVIEW: The Presidential Game by The Presidential Game

My 14-year old son and I had an opportunity to play The Presidential Game by The Presidential Game.



In this exciting strategy game, two teams, playing as opposing political parties, try to make the right campaigning decisions in each state so they can gain enough electoral votes to win the Presidency!

This entertaining and educational family game is great for kids ages 11+ and adults alike.

Once you’ve purchased the game for $35 plus shipping and handling, you can enter the code from your box online to gain access to an interactive electoral webmap to be used on your computer, tablet, or smartphone to help you track your election returns just like they do on the news!

In your game box, you’ll receive: 

  • 1 20" x 30" GAME Board
  • 1 Score Pad
  • 3 Blue Dice
  • 3 Red Dice
  • 80 Politics Cards
  • 40 "Write-Your-Own" Politics Cards
  • 150 Republican Votes (red chips)
  • 150 Democrat Votes (blue chips)
  • 1 Electoral WebMap™ Calculator Access Code



Let me start by saying that when you play this game for the very first time, take advantage of its flexibility in deciding how many rounds you want to play by making the first game fairly short.  I say this because if you are anything like us, you won’t entirely understand what you’re doing that first time around!  I anticipated this, so we decided to only take 15 turns each, which according to the directions equates to about a 30-minute game.  This turned out to be just right for us and gave us a chance to get our feet wet before really diving into this game. 

So in this first game, we set out a bit tentatively, consulting the directions when we weren’t clear on what to do in any given situation.  We realized about halfway through that we were already doing some things wrong, but by then, we were having so much fun and laughing at our competitive natures that it didn’t even matter at that point!  Smile  I didn’t entirely understand the advantages of fundraising vs. campaigning until afterwards, and then it became much more clear to me.  We had failed to declare which states we were campaigning in after we’d rolled our dice, and that was the major flaw in our gameplay.  We realized how much more strategic that would have made things, and I’m sure our game would have turned out much differently if we had done it that way, but we still had loads of fun the way we played it.  In fact, we were neck and neck until the very last state, with everything was riding on which one of us rolled the dice to decisively take Hawaii.  Talk about suspense!  My 14-year old son, Hayden (playing as a Democrat), unfortunately took the Presidency from my Republican self.  Sad smile  But there’s always the next campaign (AKA, the next round of The Presidential Game)!

The cool accompaDSCF0854niment, which we used from the very first game, was the free Electoral WebMap Calculator that you could access from your computer or tablet.  That was super cool!  By entering our state status into that WebMap (available on the Presidential Game website once you enter the code from inside your game box), we were able to skip keeping track of our votes on the paper score pad, not to mention that it had a real coolness factor that made you feel like you were watching the results come in from the polls on the news reports.  It was super easy to use…just tap a state once for red, twice for blue, and three times to return it to neutral.  So as we parley back and forth swiping states from one another, it’s a piece of cake to update the WebMap, and it tallies our total votes for us.

Subsequent rounds of this game proved to be just as much fun.  I think the one thing we took away from this experience was how easily a state can slip away from you in the campaigning process.  I can only imagine what it must be like for actual political candidates as they make their moves on the campaign trail and wait for the votes to fall into place.  It’s not always what you’d expect, and you never know what your opponent has in mind!

I would definitely recommend this game for parents of tweens and teens.  If you have any competitive nature in you at all, you’ll love the suspense this game brings to the table.

Take a look at what other Crew members had to say about The Presidential Game by clicking the banner below.