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2.24.2016

The Climbing Knights--A Rose Academy Review

If you have known my family for any amount of time, you know how much we love to play games. Many days in the winter (or almost any other time of the year too) you will find us having a game night more often than not. I also believe that games help children learn various skills--confidence, strategy, reasoning skills, logic, taking turns, etc. I love to incorporate games into our daily home school lessons as well, especially in math. There is just something much more appealing about playing a game to review your math facts than staring at a page of 50 problems.
SimplyFun releases new games every so often. The Climbing Knights is one of these new releases. I looked around on their website and noticed that lots of the games can be educational to some degree. I actually think that all games teach something even if it is simply teaching how to take turns or simple strategy. The
games on the site are sorted by age or by concept for easy browsing. Many of the games include video demonstrations for how to play. My daughter made a wishlist of a couple that interested her. They do have something for all ages from preschool all the way to high school and even then many of the games are family games.
When we first received The Climbing Knights, we were super impressed with the quality of the pieces. These games are meant to be high quality and this game did not disappoint. The castle pieces are extremely sturdy. They are also magnetic which makes this such a unique and fun game to play. Instead of playing on a typical flat game board, the game is played vertically with the knights traveling up to the top of the castle.
The goal of this game is to have your knight climb to the top of the castle and retrieve a coat of arms. After you have traveled to the top of the castle and retrieved two coats of arms, you win the game. The game is easy to set up with full color instructions to guide you in how to set it up. Game play is also relatively simple to learn how to play. Withing minutes of receiving this game in the mail, my 10yo and 12yo had it set up and ready to play. After a quick read through of the basic rules of the game, we played a round. Later that afternoon those two taught the 14yo how to play and that game provided the entertainment for the afternoon.

The entire game when put together is tall. This is truly such a unique and intriguing design that it just begs to be played. The entire castle is a 3-tiered, 3-sided, 3-dimensional figure that is actually the game board. For this picture we put the knights climbing up the front of the castle to show that they are magnetic, but during game play, the knights actually climb up the other two sides of the castle. See the guards? You want to avoid being spotted by the guards. If you are spotted then you are sent to the bottom of the level. On your turn you roll 3 dice and move the guards as well as your knight. You really do have to be on your toes and think ahead to which direction the guard is traveling so you can avoid him or hide. Occasionally the guards fall asleep and then it's fun to sneak on past them.
What about winning? How do you handle the people who didn't win--the losers? Simple. In my family the winner puts away the game. This is another reason that I encourage game play. It teaches the kids that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It also teaches them to be a gracious winner or loser. These are basic life skills that need to be learned and mastered in their younger years to allow for them to handle bigger disappointments in life. 
I'm reviewing, The Climbing Knights, one of four of SimplyFun new releases.
SimplyFun Review
Be sure to visit the Review Crew blog and read what the other reviewers have to say about SimplyFun games.


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