10 DAYS IN AFRICA 

&

10 DAYS IN THE USA

Out of the Box Games

1-932359-08-7 & 1-932359-09-5

$19.95/2003

 

10 Days in Africa
10 Days in the USA

Reviewed by Steven H Silver


Out of the Box Games has released two games which are essentially the same.  The first to be released was “10 Days in Africa,” followed by the release of “10 Days in the USA.”  Although at first glance both games would appear to teach geography, playing them makes the players realize that the games are as much about strategy as anything else.

Each player is given a set of trays which will hold ten cards.  At the beginning of the game, the players select ten cards and place them in these holders.  The cards represent either countries (or states), cars, or airplanes.  The point of the game is to make a chain from the first card, Day One, through the last card, Day Five.  Two adjacent cards form a link either if they are neighboring countries (states) or if two countries separated by another country have a card in between them or two countries of the same color have a similarly colored airplane between them.  The first player to make a ten-card chain wins.

Although the games include a large board map of the area in which play takes place, the map is really not used for anything other than a reference tool by the players.  When plotting out their routes (chains), players can use the maps as a guide to make sure the countries (states) actually border each other or are one nation (state) away.  While the boards are nice references, there does not appear to be a reason why a large board needed to be included instead of smaller reference cards, although the boards are attractively designed.

Devised to be played by between two and four players, the strategy changes as additional players are added.  This is especially true in the case of “Ten Days in the USA.”  In that version of the game, each state is only represented by a single card (in the African game several of the countries have more than one card representing them).  This means that the more players there are, the greater the chance that multiple players will be striving to acquire the same card.  Similarly, because cards can be discarded into any of three piles, it increased the chance that a card desired by a player will be covered up before the players turn.

While the box states that both games are designed for players age ten and older, my six-year-old daughter enjoys playing the game and needs only minor help to figure out how to best achieve her goals.  The game is certainly enjoyable for those who are below the age listed on the box, as well as by those who are well above the lowest age listed.

“Ten Days in Africa” and “Ten Days in the USA” are excellent games which teach strategy and geography as well as play on the luck of the draw.  They can be learned in just moments, but each game is different, whether played by two people or the maximum of four.  The production quality is quite good, with the cards having a good thickness which does not lend itself to easy dog-earing, folding or tearing.  Either, or both, games are a welcome addition to any games closet.

Purchase 10 Days in Africa from Amazon Books.

Purchase 10 Days in the USA from Amazon Books.

 


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