Monday, September 26, 2011

Strategy Games Rule! (Tri-Cross Game Review)

The TOS Crew has been on the receiving end of some very FUN packages this year.  In spite of "The word on the street"(at least in OUR neighborhood) regarding education's image, there are many folks out there determined to share with the world how agreeable exercising your brain can be.
Tri-Cross Logo

We were very excited to be on the review list for the Tri-Cross Strategy Game. Games are a favorite pastime in our home, especially those that are reasonably quick, and adaptable to a wide variety of ages. I think that Tri-Cross Strategy Game is good on both counts.

Tri-Cross~ What was in the package Our package contained not only the standard box version of the game, but also the Dr. Toy Best Green Product of 2010 winner, the travel/eco-version of the game in a nifty drawstring bag.

Considering that we were expecting only the travel/eco version, this was a delightful surprise. I especially appreciated it because in our family of 5, someone is invariably left out of those 4-player games, or required to team up, which isn't always desirable.

Travel Edition and Contents of Tri-Cross boardgame box The play is fairly quick, and reminds me of a number of card and board games, but at the same time is something unique and new.

The basic concept is to either eliminate your opponent's pieces (By jumping over them almost checkers-style ~ the difference being that play is always either horizontal or vertical, never diagonal~ ), or maintain the position of your piece on the center space of the board for 4 of your consecutive turns.

There are multiple variations on the game, and I'm not going to try to explain how to play it here, as I am not fond of re-inventing the wheel, so here is a video from the good folks at Tri-Cross: Games for Competitors, themselves.

I WILL emphasize that there are variations on how to place the pieces, and whether they are facing up or hidden~ This makes a huge difference in the way the game is approached, and sometimes how much it is appreciated :)

Tri-Cross Travel GameThe game is deceptively simple, and can be adapted up or down based on the ability of your players. For instance, even my 4 year old got in on the play, when we chose to try 3-player for the first time. When playing the "face-down" version, there is that element of "Chance", which suits those with younger players, like my son, very well. As a matter of fact, he knocked me out of the game, and then handily beat his sister. She was disgusted(in a rather funny way) that he won the first game (And he was rather delighted)! :) Now,  I admit that I might have helped him as far as knowing when to jump, but other than that, he chose which pieces to move, and in which direction.

TriCross Board GameThe playing pieces are a delightful heft~ similar in quality and weight to good playing dice. but half the height. I really liked the feel of them in my hand. :) And the Travel/Eco version is just the right size to pop into a back-pack or bag for a camping trip, a picnic, or a day at the park.

I am especially happy with this game as I had already determined that Middlest could use some honing of his logic skills. This is a great little item to have on hand for "Fun Friday" if you do such a thing, and also just for rainy day fun, or family game nights.

We tried to come up with some "Cons" to this game to share with you, but weren't successful. Here is a quick recap of the "Pros" that we found: 
  • Quick and easy enough to learn the basics that my 4 year old can join in
  • Enough variation to make it challenging as skill increases
  • A great little "logic" exercise to encourage those that think "learning" isn't fun
  • Quick game play~ Monopoly and Risk this is most definitely NOT! One of those "just right" for 10-30 minutes of engaging play.
  • Aesthetically pleasing in all areas, visual and tactile. 
The Nitty Gritty~
Tri-Cross Games for Competitors
Recommended age~ 10-Adult (Obviously~ your mileage will vary, but it is certainly most beneficial for those 10+...)
  • Standard, Boxed Edition $24.95
  • Travel/Eco Edition $19.95 and for the real strategy game enthusiast in your home...
  • The Wood Edition $35.95
The  games can be purchased online or from your local specialty toy store (Retail locations by state).

For other TOS Crew Reviewer opinions, please visit the TOS Crew Blog
As always, I hope that this review was helpful to you as you choose where best to allocate your homeschool and gift budgets (Isn't it grand when the two coincide???).
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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