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Subject: First time playing with adult students rss

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Driver 8
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The Audience:

I teach adult education classes in a family literacy program. The students in my class are often high school dropouts who have small children and are now trying to get their GED. Their academic levels vary, so it's often hard to coordinate the materials for class. I've been wanting to try out a game in class to try to spice it up a little. I figured I'd start off easy with a kid's game and see how that went.

On the day I brought some games to class, attendance was horrible; 2 called off and 1 left early for an appointment. That left only 2 students, plus myself. Both are kind of low level, so I figured we'd open up with a game of Loopin' Louie to gets things rolling. That went well of course, so I tried out one that requires some thought: Highly Suspect.

Note on Components:

I recieved Höchst Verdächtig in a trade, and when I got it, I noticed that the pieces had metal washers attached to the bottoms. I didn't realize until later that these were added by a previous owner. One of the washers was missing, however, so I decided to removed all of them when I discovered they weren't supposed to be there (they came off easily, without any effects on the pieces). After playing this game for the first time, I can see why they were added: to add extra weight to the pieces and keep them from tipping over. I may have to add those washers back on again.

Note on the rules:

Before we started, we decided to play with the variant that the top card of the deck would be played face up, so we knew which crook was next to be caught. I figured this would add some strategy to the game, but in hindsight, I think I'd prefer to not know. It'd also have been fun to have kept the cards hidden from the other players so you wouldn't know who won until the end of the game.

The Game:

I had wanted this to be an educational experience, and I could tell from the start that it was going to be. I explained the rules and both players understood them immediately. At first I noticed that Tammy was making moves at random, hoping that her detective and the crook with end up next to each other. Sarah, on the other hand, seemed to have figured out how to move her detective around a little better. I knew what I was doing and tried to show them how to think ahead about where things would slide when the board was tilted. I wasn't playing up to my full potential because I didn't want to blow them out of the water, but I didn't want to give them too many hints either.

As the game went on, I could see how their moves were very narrow minded. They were looking only at their detectives and how to move them closer in the direction they wanted them to go. They seemed to be ignoring the fact that each tilt moves not only their detective, but everything else on the board as well. Eventually they got the hang of it, but still had a way to go in developing their understanding of the strategy. I guess some people's brains just don't work that way; which gives me a greater appreciation for this game as a children's game. If this game helps to develop those higher thinking skills, I'm glad I own it for when my 2 year old son is old enough to play.

The game ended just when we had to end class, and both seemed to have enjoyed it. I know I really liked it and am looking forward to playing again, with any age.

What's Next?:

Now I'm on the lookout for other games of this nature: games that are geared towards children, but involve abstract thinking skills that teach something (without appearing to teach something). If anyone else likes Höchst Verdächtig, let me know what else you like that I might enjoy!
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Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
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The washers came straight from the factory - my brand-spankin' new copy had them!

The cards need to be random & hidden - otherwise, the game becomes a see-saw back'n'forth yawnfest.
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Silly Syanide
Norway
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Gamer Growing poster child, or: Why all 4 year olds should get MAX (by Family Pastimes)
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Wow. I'm blown away by this review.

Manfred Ludwig might become my new go-to designer (taking the baton after Jim Deacove, whose Max and Princess have been family favorites for 2 years). If he can manage both to draw kids in, and encourage growth without them realizing it, while both kids _and_ adults are having fun ... that's no small feat! That takes a natural born teacher with respect for kids, as well as love of games. Few and far between!

I became a parent 6 years ago and have been trying to get Ludwig's Marrakesh for my kid after having read rave reviews here on BGG, but haven't found a copy of it, even after having had it on permanent search both in Ebay and Funagain Games for about two years. I can't explain myself on this point, but I hadn't thought of looking at Manfred Ludwig's other games ... but I certainly will now!

Thank you, Driver 8! meeple
 
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Patrick C.
United States
Milford
New Hampshire
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gamemark wrote:
The washers came straight from the factory - my brand-spankin' new copy had them!

The cards need to be random & hidden - otherwise, the game becomes a see-saw back'n'forth yawnfest.


Yup. Have owned two copies and both came with washers. They're necessary for the pieces to move correctly.
 
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