Playing Time: 20-30
How many games can you think of (that donít have the words
Trivial Pursuit in the title) that are educational as well as fun? Well, 10 Days
in Africa is one of those rare games.
The object of 10 Days in Africa is
to arrange a make-believe trip across the African continent. At the beginning of the
game, each player is dealt ten tiles. Each tile has a country (with a specific color),
an automobile (neutral-colored), or a plane (with a specific color) on it. Each player
arranges the tiles in his or her tile holder.
Game play proceeds as
follows: A player draws a new tile. If he can use it, the new tile replaces one of his
old tiles, and the old tile is discarded. If he canít use it, then the new tile goes
into the discard pile, and his turn is over. When a player has arranged his cards in
such a way that they chart a course through Africa, that player
Sounds simple enough, right? Youíd be surprised. The trick is to
arrange your country tiles and transportation tiles just right so that you actually can
make that trip. And the game has some pretty strict rules, too. For example: You must
start and end with a country tile. Also, you can place two adjacent countries
next to each otheróas long as a border touches, the game assumes you can cross the border
on foot, and you donít need a car or a plane. You can use an automobile card to travel
from country to country as long as there is a third country that borders both.
You can use an airplane card to travel to non-adjoining countriesóhowever,
the two countries and the plane must all be the same color. And the most
important rule is this: Once your tiles are placed, you cannot rearrange them. All you
can do is replace an old tile with a new one. Therefore, the real strategy in the game
lies in good placement of your tiles before the game even starts.
I had a
good time with 10 Days in Africa. It was fun, strategic, and well-themed (the automobile
cars look like safari jeeps, and the tile holders are wooden and made to look
distinctively African). Itís also a great way to teach older kids about geographyóin
order to figure out if you can get from one country to another, you need to figure out
where those countries are located in relation to each other. The game takes about a half
hour to play, and if you know your geography, you donít even really need the game board
(itís just a map of Africa to help you plan your trip).
Ed. Note: For
more information and official game
rules, please visit Out of the