Chicago families in the market for playthings that would make great vacation toys and fun additions to family game night will want to check out Road Trip. This new game from Daddy-O Productions mixes elements of standard board game play, Scattergories, Mad Libs, and the experience of driving cross-country with a retro-cool design that includes tokens shaped like vintage family cruisers and a carrying tin molded to look like a classic RV (complete with travel stickers). Aimed at players ages 8 and up, Road Trip can be enjoyed by even younger participants if families play in teams or modify the challenges slightly.
How to play Road Trip family game
In this challenging family game, players race to see who can complete a cross-country journey from the East Coast of the U.S. to the West Coast first. By completing Challenge cards, players can move a varying number of spaces each turn. At certain shaded-in spaces along each route, players can pause to draw Rest Stop cards that have the potential to bring them either good or bad fortune.
Not only does the movement of the tiny car tokens across the USA Map game board simulate the experience of taking a cross-country road trip, but the themes of many of the challenge questions deal with visiting relatives, writing postcards, tourist attractions, hotels, diners, and popular places to travel to on a family vacation.
Before completing a Challenge card, a player must roll the 30-sided alphabet die to pick a letter. The player then has 30 seconds to use that letter to complete the Challenge card activity successfully. Possible challenges include filling in the blanks of a Tall Tale with different parts of speech that begin with the chosen letter, listing three objects that belong to a specific category (and begin with or contain the letter), listing any five things that begin with the letter, or listing any five things that end with the letter. When a challenge is successfully met, the player might move one, two, or three spaces ahead.
Rest Stop cards add excitement to the game by allowing players to do things like reroll the die to choose a new letter, lose a turn, move ahead a space (sometimes without having to do anything; sometimes after meeting a new challenge), or move another player back one space.
While Road Trip is not a trivia game that requires people to recall specific pieces of information as such, this family-friendly game does reward players with good vocabularies who are able to think quickly and creatively on their feet to name items belonging to categories ranging from things you would spot at the beach to kinds of art supplies. By meeting the challenges posed in this game, kids can develop everything from their logic skills to their understanding of the different parts of speech. Funny or silly answers can be accepted, making the game extremely lively and entertaining, though families may want to have a dictionary on hand if any answers are contested.
Road Trip family game review
Although parents may need to adapt the game a little to make Road Trip easy enough for younger players to play, this is a thoroughly entertaining board game that can challenge and entertain several generations of a family at once. Some ways to vary game play include:
- pairing younger and older players on teams together.
- allowing players to take longer than thirty seconds to meet a challenge.
- allowing players to complete challenges with any words, not just ones containing a chosen letter.
The playful design of this family game will also appeal to both older and younger players: quirky retro touches like the black-and-white photo of a 50s diner tabletop featured on the back of the Rest Stop cards or the vintage postcard images and lettering used on the USA Map game board will remind parents and grandparents of family road trips of the past century, while boys and girls will just enjoy customizing their retro station wagon tokens by adding sticker side panels in patterns like faux-wood and zebra-stripe.
The tiny pieces and game board make it hard to play the complete Road Trip game in a moving car during a trip, but the compact size and sturdiness of the game’s tin carrying case makes it easy to pack and bring along to play in hotel rooms during family vacations. Travelers can also adapt the game for in-car use by using the challenge cards and alphabet die alone.
Overall, this is a charming game with the potential to become a classic family favorite that can be played over and over again for years to come. We received our copy for review, but Chicago families can look for it at Barnes & Noble stores or online at the Daddy-O Productions website, where it should retail for around $24.99.
Other great travel and vacation toys and accessories include travel bingo cards and the Doodle Roll Activity Kit. Other fun family games include the Word Pirates board game, the Play-Doh Toy Time Race Game, and the HABA Mummy’s Treasure Game.
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