Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rivers, Roads & Rails

  I like Rivers, Roads and Rails. I do not like the game's instructions, which I read when we got the game, decided they didn't make sense, and haven't looked at again.
  The game is just squares with pictures on them. Each has a variety of combinations of a river, road or railroad track. The squares are thick cardboard and feel nice to hold. The pictures on them are cute.
  My 3-year-old likes to look at the pictures, and we talk about them. "Boat, horse, tree." She likes the challenge of lining up the squares, but doesn't notice whether the roads, etc., match.
  My 5-year-old enjoys laying out the tiles in a way that looks nice. She imagines being in the picture she's creating. She follows the rules about lining up a river with a river, a road with a road.
  My 8-year-old wants more challenge, so he'll randomly grab a bunch of squares to see whether it's possible to use them all. Several times, he and I have tried to design a layout in which we use them all, but we've never had the patience to keep trying.
  My homemade rules for Rivers, Roads & Rails is that each player gets 5 squares. You put down a starter square and take turns adding to it, one square at a time. If you can't put down a square, you can take a new one to add to your hand and still try to take your turn, or trade as many squares as you like and forfeit your turn.
  I'm wondering now whether we have finished a game playing this way. I know we oftentimes decide to just start building the road together. It's fun just to look at it. Bad rules, good game.
  For ages 5-adult, 1-8 players. Cost: About $21.

Our rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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