Reviewing the board game Tri-Cross (from Games for Competitors) sure didn't seem like work for me and my family. It just seemed like good old-fashioned fun. And the fun was doubled, since Games for Competitors sent us the boxed version and the Tri-Cross Eco-Edition!
How awesome is that?!
Tri-Cross can be played with two to four players, ages 10 to adult, and the instructions explain both traditional play and optional variations that increase the challenge level. Both the boxed game and the Eco-Edition are played the same way; the difference is the eco-friendly packaging of Tri-Cross Eco-Edition (which is ideal for traveling - all the pieces fit neatly in a small cinch-sac).
The object of the game is to win by occupying the Tri-Cross square located in the center of the game board with any one of your pieces, OR to jump and remove all your opponent's game pieces. My 9th grade daughter says it reminds her of checkers, but it takes a lot of strategy. No two rounds play out in the same way, and it's easy to keep playing in the hope that "one more round" will deem one player the Tri-Cross champion.
The game becomes more challenging with 3 or 4 players versus 2 players, but that's not to say Tri-Cross isn't fun with 2 people competing. It's a fun game no matter how many players are involved, and the fun builds as the strategy unfolds. I think a truly entertaining game should be engaging, competitive, yet simple to understand ~ Tri-Cross is all three.
In the words of my 11th grade daughter, "It's easy to play but challenging. You have to think in order to play. And it's kind of addicting; you want to play again and again."
Some optional game variations include "Face Up","Guts", "Reverse Guts", & "Team Play" - all fun ways to mix it up a little and intensify the challenge of the game. You could consider having a family game night in which Tri-Cross is played in all it's variations, with a "prize" for the family member who scores the most wins. (Prize ideas could be a movie rental, dinner out with just mom or dad, or a trip to the local bookstore.)
Tri-Cross has been awarded "Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products Winner", "The National Parenting Center's 2008 Seal of Approval", and the "Creative Child Magazine Creative Toy Awards 2008 Game of the Year Award". If I had an award for games it would be called the "Burt Family Smart Games = Fun Games Award" and Tri-Cross would be a recipient :)
Homeschool families have the option of incorporating learning games into their daily academic schedule. Not sure how to use a game as a "lesson"? Well, in the case of Tri-Cross, younger students will be using basic math and counting practice when they play. And the more older kids can practice logic and thinking skills when they play, especially the more challenging versions of the game.
Games like Tri-Cross are also a good way to begin (or end) a field trip day that doesn't take up an entire school day. Say your field trip starts around lunch time and you know you won't be able to complete any full math or language arts lessons before it's time to jump in the car. Educational games can fill in this gap and count as learning, too. They're also easy to implement, no grading is required, and it keeps the kids all in one place working together while you get everything ready for the field trip. Reverse the scenario if your field trip takes place in the morning, and have the children play educational games in the afternoon to fill up the school day and allow you time to clean up after the day's activities. Thinking games are a win/win!
Visit the Games for Competitors website to find out more, to order online, or to find local retailers who sell Tri-Cross (these are listed by state).
Available for purchase at the website are Tri-Cross shirts in adult and youth sizes ($12) ~ Tri-Cross Standard Edition ($24.95) ~ Tri-Cross Wood Edition ($35.95) ~ Tri-Cross Eco-Edition ($19.95).
Consider making educational games a part of your family's homeschool.
To see other reviews from the TOS Crew click HERE.
Day 117 done :)
Jan L. Burt