Try It – 20 Express by Blue Orange Games

As a mother studying math education, I try to stay involved and informed on ways to help my kiddos with their math literacy.  One new aspect I want to bring to the blog is encourage others the importance of family educational activities.  In addition to bring memorable fun moments, the activities increase your family’s appreciation of education and enhance their knowledge of educational concepts.

Presently, I am planning a family math night for Big K’s school which will be composed of math activities for families to do at home and enhance everyone’s ability to do mathematics.  While requesting door prize donations, I came across the company Blue Orange Games who develop games to enhance skills and provide family fun.   Well I have the honor to provide you a review of their newest game – 20 Express.

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 As you notice this game is intended for ages 8-adult which means little has to either be asleep or not around.  So we finally had a chance since Little K was at school 🙂

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As you see in the picture, the game comes with pencils, 40 numbered tiles, a bag, and pad of game sheets (which by the way are double-sided to prevent waste of paper).  In addition there is a manual which explains the goal of the game, instructions on how to play (with samples), and directions on how to score.  I appreciate the layout of this manual for it walks you through each phase of the game – game start, the turns throughout, and totaling each player’s score.

As described on 20 Express’s web page – “Each player has a train of 20 cars to fill with numbers. The goal is to create the longest ascending series possible. Twenty numbered tiles are randomly drawn. With every draw, the number must board a car and stay there. Break a series and you miss out on points.”  Now being a math person, I understood the concept “series” and how best to strategize my turns, BUT the samples and explanation of series is in layman’s terms for all math levels.  I just had to let my daughter see a sample for her to understand what a series was — unfortunately she didn’t fully establish a strategy until the 15th tile being drawn. 🙂  The greater the distance between series allows you to increase your final score…so definitely critical thinking is required.  The game does not take long to play and keeps the players engaged through tile selection and placement.  It was fun selecting the tiles for it makes players stay focused on their train and future tile placement.

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My final score — oh yeah!

I will say from a parent’s perspective it was great playing a game that provided me an opportunity to enhance my daughter’s understanding of numbers and ability to critically think.  A first she was just placing the numbers and not taking into consideration leaving blank cars between numbers.  I will be honest most of the educational games we have played were just randomly designed by me or activities I saw online, so this was our first company designed game.  We both really enjoyed this game and I do plan on purchasing other games by Blue Orange Games in the near future.

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