All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.
As this is a game based on educational principles I am also able to draw on my experience as a primary school teacher (Australia) when reviewing them. I hope you find this insight useful.
As the name of this game suggests Right Turn, Left Turn is a great game to help children learn the importance of direction. The game consists of 7 inspector (or police) cards and 43 direction cards. The game is set-up by placing the inspector cards face-up in a circle and then the deck of direction cards are placed face down in the centre of the circle.
The game begins by turning over a direction card and players are then involved in a race to solve the instructions and call out the end point. Each direction card displays a symbol such as a tree, bicycle, traffic light etc. Each inspector also displays one of these symbols. So the symbol on the direction card informs the players at which inspector they should start. The direction card then has 3 directions listed in order.
An example could be 1 left, 3 left, 2 right. The players must then follow these instructions from the starting inspector and when they think they have found the end point they call out the symbol on that inspector’s card. If correct they get to keep the direction card and collecting a certain number of cards (determined by the players) will result in victory. For older gamers you can penalise a player for calling out an incorrect end destination by having it awarded to another player.
The game is as simple as this but certainly a fun and valuable one to help children learn the difference between left and right. It may prove a challenge for younger gamers, especially if the starting inspector is located at a point in the circle where they are required to work out the directions in the reverse. A way to minimise this for novices is to allow them to sit in front of the starting inspector.
But the game does have one more difficult twist. Of the 7 inspector cards in play, several of them have their back turned and others are facing the players. This will of course require the players to consider the left and right arms of the inspectors before moving in the direction of the next instruction. The inspectors with their backs to the players pose no problem but the inspectors facing the players will require some lateral thinking for youngsters as they will need to reverse the directions.
The Final Word
This is the first game of its type that I have seen to focus on this very important skill of directional sense. The game rules are simple to follow and meet this aim very well. The cards are of a thicker card stock, which will help them last for some time as they cannot be bent without excessive force. The illustrations are pleasant and the colours engaging.
I would recommend that beginners don’t use the front\back facing issues that the game offers as it will prove very confusing and ultimately frustrating for most young children. However by including this consideration, Playroom has designed a game that extends to students of a much older age and this offers families and schools good value for money as a long-term resource.