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Professor Noggin's Medieval Times Card Game Review by Kathy Gelzer

Outset Media Corp.
#106-4226 Commerce Circle
Victoria, BC, Canada V8Z 6N6
(250) 592-7374

Professor Noggin's Medieval Times Card Game is a set of thirty illustrated quiz cards with two sets of three questions per card and answers printed on the back. The questions are divided into easy and hard categories. The game comes with a three-numbered die and instructions.

The game is designed for two to eight players, age 7 and up. Players choose a skill level and take turns asking an opponent one of the questions determined by the roll of the die. The person with the most correct answers at the end of the game wins. If a question is answered incorrectly, the player reads the correct answer aloud for everyone to hear and the card is returned to the pile for another go later in the game. For players of varied ages, you can tailor the skill level to each player to even things out.

This game wins points for versatility and portability. We successfully included a 5-year-old, and even adults can find it challenging. You could choose to use the game more informally (rather than playing according to the instructions) by having one person quiz the rest of the family/class/group and call on players to answer (or go around the circle). Because the cards are the only crucial part of the game, you can rubber-band them together and toss the stack in your purse or carry-on for travel fun.

The game cards are beautiful--miniature works of art in their own right--and are made of very sturdy cardstock with wipe-clean fronts. Some children might enjoy sorting them or even making up their own games.

The time-scope of the game, AD 1066 to 1453, is a bit narrow for the usual breakdown of the major historical periods used by many homeschoolers. For example, classical homeschoolers often define the medieval period with a starting date of AD 400 or 500. The game focuses on medieval Europe, except for one card, which touches on the Far East. This game does not cover Augustine, the Vikings, or Charlemagne. There is one card with a set of questions on the Inquisition, and some parents may wish to keep that one back from younger children. Although there are brief explanatory remarks for many of the correct answers, sometimes I wanted more details. I think a little booklet giving information and suggested references on the Middle Ages would be a nice addition.

As a footnote, there are 26 different card games in the series, ranging from nature to geography to history.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2006