Have you or your kid's ever thought about what it takes to become President of the United States? We recently became acquainted with how to become the President when we received for review The Presidential Game.
The Presidential Game is a game of strategy for two separate teams, one representing Democrats and the other Republicans, to see who can gain 270 of the 538 electoral votes. To begin the game you first pick the amount of weeks that you want to play. 30 weeks is the recommended amount, which will probably make your game around an hour long (though your first couple times playing may take longer.).
The way to gain electoral votes is through campaigning or fundraising. All of this is done through the rolling of the dice which gives you the number of your electoral votes for that turn. You then place your chips, which represent one vote, on your choice of states. If you choose to fundraise you also gain electoral votes and at the end of your turn you then pull a Politics card that can help you gain (or lose) votes.When your weeks are finished the team with 270 electoral votes or more are the winner.
The kid's and I sat down to play one evening. I had read through the rules, but was having a hard time putting them into practice. I finally had to ask my husband, who was trying to write a sermon, to come help and give us guidance and clarification. By trial and error we slowly began to figure it out. We kept score by using the WebMap Calculator, but you can also keep score on the score pad that comes with the game.
We had a successful first game and the only thing we did wrong was that we used 3 dice when we did fundraising instead of the recommended two. (I found this out from updated rules that are posted online here.) When we played this later it did make a difference since it was harder to fundraise with only two dice since the higher the numbers you roll the better your fundraising results will be.
Since the game calls for 2 or more players it was nice that two of the kids could sit down and play it by themselves. The game also is for ages 11 and up and my 11 year old had no problem at all understanding the concept of the game. Even my 5 year old was involved in playing by rolling the dice.
The Presidential Game does a great job of showing how the electoral college works and the wisdom our Founding Fathers had when they implemented it. It also gave insights into campaign strategies and how fundraising can affect an election. We also learned about the importance of the four key states--California, Texas, New York, and Florida to a campaign.
The icing on the cake of this whole game was the WebMap Calculator. You can use this to help keep score. It is a visual of how the whole election process is going. By tapping on the states you can turn them blue (Democrat) or red (Republican). It also keeps tracks of the electoral votes. You can use your computer, smartphone, or tablet. We did one game with our computer and then tried our iPad. At first it wouldn't work by using our finger, but when we used a stylus it worked beautifully.
The WebMap Calculator on the iPad.
The Presidential Game was not only an educational game, but it was fun. Yes, there was a slight learning curve to it, but once we got through that down we were off and running. I think my husband summed it up best when he said, "It's a keeper!"
The Presidential Game is available for $35.00.