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Sunday, October 28, 2007


10 Days in the USA

Another game that has been collecting dust for some time. I finally had a chance to play 10 Days in the USA and have played several games with different players.

Let me lead with my bottom line: More of a geography teaching tool than a game, but probably a fair teaching tool and not a horrible game.

10 Days in the USA is one of a series of geography games by Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum. So far the other three games in the series are 10 Days in Africa, Asia and Europe. The theme is that you visit one state every day for ten, and you need to create a chain of linked states.

Players can place adjacent states next to other in their hand. Players can play an automobile card between 2 states that have a 3rd state as a mutual neighbor. States are also one of 4 colors and airplane cards can be played to travel between states of the same color. (Special rules for Alaska and Hawaii, of course.)

For example I can place Washington, Idaho, Automobile card, North Dakota, Automobile card, Wisconsin. Washington is connected to Idaho. You get from Idaho to North Dakota by traveling via automobile through the state of Montana, and from North Dakota to Wisconsin by traveling by car through Minne-snow-ta.

The catch is that once placed a card cannot be moved. Every round players draw one card and can either discard it or play it by replacing a previously played card in their hand. If you have a card that needs to be in another spot in order to make a logical connection you first need to discard it and hope to pick it up from the discard pile on your next turn. There are 3 discard piles, so you need to hope that no one snags your discard and that no one covers your discard with their discard.

For example (referring to my above example) if the cards after Wisconsin in my hand were Ohio and Michigan (in that order) I would be so close, yet so far. I couldn't just wait to replace Ohio with an auto card because although they are adjacent states there isn't a third state with a common border to both Wisconsin and Michigan that you could drive through. In order to change the order of the cards you would have to discard both and hope to pick them back up on subsequent turns.

Confused? Don't be. The game is pretty easy and will be clear after a round of play or two.

That's about all there is to the game. I should note that players hands are secret an only revealed when a player claims to have won. A game with strategic thinking adults shouldn't last more than 20-30 minutes. Could take much longer than that with children.

Picked up my copy in a discount bargain bin. I'm glad I didn't pay full price. I will be playing it with my kids occasionally.

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