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The Scrambled States of America Game Review by Charlotte Gochnauer

Gamewright
http://www.gamewright.com/

Playing games can be such an effective way for children to learn. And if you are learning about United States geography, this game from Gamewright would be a great choice.

The Scrambled States of America Game is a fun, easy-to-learn game for children ages 8 and up. Two to 4 players can play this fast-paced card game that tests the knowledge of state trivia and geography. The goal is to correctly match states with different clues and then place the matched states in a home pile. To set up, players are dealt a hand of blue state cards. On each card is a state name, a silhouette of the state, the capital, and the state nickname. The remaining blue cards are placed face down next to the main deck of red cards. Each player is also given a U.S. map to use as reference during the game. To play, players take turns picking cards from the main red deck. When a card is flipped, all the players race to see if the states in their hand match the statement on the card. Some of the statements are "does not touch an ocean," "the capital has two words," and "is west of Kansas." Anyone with a blue state card that fits the statement calls out the state's name. The first person to do so gets to place that state card in his home pile. Other cards in the blue deck name a state and then the players see if a state in their hand is the closest. The game is finished when all the states have been distributed among the players; they then count the cards in their home piles, and the one with the most wins. A few variations listed in the instructions can make the game even more interesting and age appropriate.

This was a really fun game for my children to play. The instructions were detailed and concise, and the provided maps were helpful for reference. Because they frequently glanced at the map during the game, my children really got to know the layout of the states. Each state card has a fun smiley face on the state. A couple of the "clue" statements were very easy, such as matching the color of the state or finding one with a smiley face that was showing teeth. I found that this allowed younger children a chance to play and also moved the game along nicely. I would recommend this game as a supplement to state geography or just to have in the game closet to play on a rainy day.

Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2010

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