Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Geometry Strategy®

Geometry Strategy®

Spring 2016 Games
Ages: 12 & Up
Manufacturer: BRIGHT of Sweden
Price: $29.99

In this abstract strategy game, each of the 2-4 players begins with a set of 10 three-dimensional plastic geometric pieces (red, black, white and gray), which are in and of themselves the first geometry lesson of this board game. Players will learn their names and what they look like: sphere, helix, cylinder, rectangle, cone, dodecahedron, prism, pyramid, tetrahedron, and hexahedron. Just playing the game, you effortlessly learn more about each of them.

Players begin by positioning their pieces on any squares within their quarter of the 14-by-14-grid game board, though the sphere and helix must start at their own baseline. At the center of the board is a black circle inside a four-square Red Zone. The goal is to be first to maneuver your sphere to the Red Zone - about as easy as winning at chess. And that's a fair comparable: While appearances are totally different, this is like a bizarre chess game originating from the planet Math.

To get things going, players draw a Red Zone card that establishes the power rankings of the pieces. Example: If the Red Zone card reads "Most Flat," the more flat surfaces a piece has, the more powerful. The dodecahedron with 12 faces would be most powerful; the cone with one flat surface the least. Other challenge conditions are Most Volume, Largest Area, and Upside Down (which flips rankings and causes havoc). No worries, the Challenge Ranking List helps players know what's what.

Players then take turns moving one piece one or two spaces in any direction (spheres and helixes can move only one space). When opposing pieces come within a space or two, it's a challenge. Attacked pieces can move out of range from the challenge, accept the challenge along with the consequences, or move a different piece into the Red Zone which requires a new Red Zone Card to be drawn-probably upsetting the power rankings.

The most powerful piece wins any challenge; the losing piece is removed from the board. A helix trumps everything except helixes. Spheres have no power and must be protected. A sphere that is challenged and defeated is eliminated from the game along with its player. The game plays on until one player remains or a player's sphere gets to the Red Zone.

Geometry Strategy is an imaginative, and surprisingly fun math competition. Its cleverness will make you forget any bad memories of high-school geometry class … and help your kids realize math really is just a game you play to win.

Don Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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BRIGHT of Sweden

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