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Out of the Box Games is known for making games that are both fun and educational and games that are easy to learn, but make you think. Of their games, my favorite series has to be the 10 Days in Series.
These games help you learn geography while presenting you with a simple yet thoughtful game play.
Components / Set Up
I really appreciate the quality of the components in the 10 Days series. The tiles, the card holders, and the box itself will hold some abuse.
Since I use these games a lot in the classroom they certainly see some abuse. I don't feel like I have to worry about hovering over the game to make sure the students use it properly.
The game comes with 48 Country tiles. These are heavy card-stock. The countries are one of five colors: green, blue, orange, pink or yellow. There is one tile per country, except for Denmark, France, Russia, Germany, Spain and Sweden, for these there are two. There are also 19 transportation tiles. There are no tiles for Andorra, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. These countries are also not listed on the board.
The tiles show the name of the and the name of the capital, a outline map of the country with the location of the capital, the population, and the square miles of the country.
There are 2 airplane tiles of each color. And there are nine ship tiles: four for the Atlantic, three for the Mediterranean, and two for the Baltic Sea.
When you pick up the box you will notice how heavy it is. Most of the weight comes from the wooden card holders. Each player gets two of these were they will secretly store five tiles in each holder.
The board is a Political map of Europe with the countries colored the same color as the country tiles. All the countries and seas are labeled.
To set up the game, place the game board in the center of the table. This is used as a reference for color and location. Nothing else is put on the board. Give each player a set of tile holders. They should place it so they can see Days 1-10 in order, facing them. Take all the tiles and mix them face down, in front of the players.
Object of the Game
Players are trying to complete a ten day journey across Europe using the transportation and country tiles. The first person to complete their journey wins.
The game starts with players filling their tile holders. This is done without taking turns. Everyone randomly draws a tile, looks at it, and places it into any location in their tile holders. Once a tile is placed i may not be moved. It may be replaced during a players turn. Make sure no one can see your tiles.
Once the holders are filled, the remaining tiles are stacked face down into three draw pies. Take the top tile of each pile and place it facce up to make the discard pile.
Now, select a player to take the first turn. Turns will continue clockwise.
During their turn a player draws and then places a tile. They may draw either a face-down or face up tile. When a draw pile is depleted, the tiles from the discard piles, except the top tile, are shuffled to form a new draw pile.
Now the player replace one of their tiles from their holders, or discard the tile, face up, to the discard pile. If they replace a tile from the holder it is discard, face-up into on of the discard piles. If they take the last tile from a discard pile, the newly discarded pile must go in its place.
Tiles should be placed so they make connections in one of three ways: connections by foot, connections by ship, or connections by airplane.
Connecting by Foot: Players travel by foot from one country to a bordering country. The bordering country tiles when side-by-side in the tile holder.
A solid black line across a body of is a connection by bridge. A broken black line is a connection by ferry (by foot). Two country tiles are considered connected if there is a black line, solid or broken, connecting the two countries on the map, or if they are located next to each other.
Connecting by Ship: Players travel by ship from one country to another country by sailing on the sea or ocean which borders both countries. When a ship tile is between the two country tiles the three tiles are connected. Ship tiles only make a connect for the sea or ocean written on the tile.
Connecting by Airplane: Players can fly by airplane from one country to another country of the same color. A plane between two countries of the same color connects the tiles.
Winning the Game
If at the end of a player’s turn, that player has a completed ten day journey, they win 10 Days in Europe! They must show their journey to the other players.
It must meet certain criteria to be complete. First it must start and end with a country tile. Five of the countries how two tiles each. Both may be included in the same journey as long as they are not next to each other. Airplane and ship tiles are not needed to complete a journey. Two transportation tiles may not be placed next to each other.
I have found that the 10 Days In Series are a group of intellectually challenging games who can be used in a variety of settings. The rules are simple to teach and easy to remember. After just brief explanation of the rules you can get started. Players will soon realize that though the rules are simple, and the idea of connecting ten days of a journey seems easy but actually completing the journey can prove a challenge.
There is a bit of a poker element to the game. You need to hide your plan from you components and not give away a good or even a bad hand. You cannot give away what countries or transportation tiles you need, but it isn't always easy. I also like the push your luck elements of the game. You may really want that Germany tile, but it isn't in the correct space. So, do you put it in the discard pile hoping it isn't covered or taken by another player? Or, do you just leave it where it is and change you original plan. I seem to change my plan quite often during this game.
There is no denying the educational element of this game. I certainly have used multiple copies in my classroom. Many times students resist games that seem educational. That has never happened with this game. Students love the tiles, the map, and of course the tile stands. They like looking at the stats on the tiles and trying to say the names of the capital cities. Reykjavik stills stumps most of them.
I do wish that they perhaps had chosen some different statistics than population. While population doesn't change much from year to year, it does change every year. Perhaps a more stable statistic such as highest or lowest point would have been a better choice. But this is certainly a minor complaint. And while the artwork is nice and simple it also seems a little bland. If they ever made a 10 Days in Beautiful Europe, as they did for Africa, I would be tempted to purchase a new set.
10 Days in Europe is just as comfortable on the kitchen table as it is in the classroom. It is a wonderful family game. Those people looking for a really deep exciting game won't necessarily find it here. If you want a game that you can play with both young and older family members this is a game for you.
The theme won't scare anyone off. While it does involve geography you don't have memorize the map since it is right there and don't worry, it isn't cheating to look. There may even be some fun discussions of where exactly is Macedonia again or do you the capital of Latvia?
While I like all the games in the 10 Days Series, Europe is definitely my favorite. I like the ship connections and the using the ferries to connect countries. I use this more in my classroom than in my home yet it has been a hit with my family. So if you are looking for a gateway / family game that isn't Ticket to Ride, give the 10 Days in Series a try. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Designers: Grafik Studio Krüger, Alan R. Moon, Aaron Weissblum
Artist: Grafik Studio Krüger, Cathleen Quinn-Kinney, John Kovalic
Publishers: Out of the Box Publishing, Schmidt Spiele
Players: 2 - 4
Game Length: 30 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Mechanic: Hand Management, Set Collection
Picture Credits: from www.boardgamegeek.com - W. Eric Martin (W Eric Martin) Andreas Resch (Gonzaga), Dede Kurnia Kardiman (ddkk), Mike Hulsebus (mikehulsebus), David Namaksy (Geosmores), Mike Hulsebus (mikehulsebus), Chris Fenwick (fenwic, Ryan Mayes (Malaiser), Mike Hulsebus (mikehulsebus)(2)
Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs!
Check out more of my review at: A Game Built for Two (and sometimes more) Game Reviews
- Last edited Wed Aug 7, 2013 6:30 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012 2:17 pm
Very nice and long review. I have a question. You said 10 days in Europe is your favorite in the series. Did you try Asia? Didn't you find it a bit more varied thanks to the bigger board and the added train mechanic?
- Last edited Sat Oct 6, 2012 4:00 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012 3:59 pm
Kristen - You are one of the best game reviewers out there! Nice job once again.
Thanks Jim, I can't fully agree with you, but I am trying to do a good job. I appreciate the compliment.
Gabriele, I guess I haven't played the Asia version as much. I do like the trains but I think I prefer Europe for the simplicity.