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I’m horrible at remembering my right from my left. Even to this day, when somebody mentions one of the directions, I have to quick make an “L” with both hands to see which is left. So when I saw the title “Right Turn, Left Turn” (Playroom Entertainment, 2004 – Reinhard Staupe), I figured that I’d be pretty bad at it.
I was right.
But that’s not to say Right Turn, Left Turn is a bad game, because it isn’t. It’s interesting and fun in the way that all the Bright Idea Games are fun. It has been the least successful for me with my young children, since they have yet to differentiate between their two different hands yet – at least not enough to play this game. But for the age group that can tell the difference – this is a fun, challenging game. I often bring it out with a group of adults, just to see who can better follow directions the fastest; but we usually don’t play a full game, just use it as a diversion.
Seven cards are placed in a circle in the middle of the table with each showing a traffic officer: three with their backs to us, and four facing players. Each card also has a symbol on it, such as a tree, streetlight or stop sign. A deck of forty-three direction cards is shuffled, and the game is ready to begin.
The top card from the Direction deck is flipped over for each round. Players must attempt to find which card the Direction card is leading to. At the top of the Direction card is a symbol, showing the traffic officer the directions of where to begin at. Then there are three numbers and corresponding directions on the card. Each direction should be followed, using the left and right of the officers on the cards! For example, if a card shows a bicycle and then states 4 Rights, 3 Lefts, 4 Rights, it means that players must start with the officer with the bicycle symbol and go four cards to his right. Then, they must go three to the left of THAT officer, and then four to the right of the next officer. As soon as players have figured out the destination officer, they shout out the symbol on the card (bicycle, stop sign, etc.).
The first person to correctly call out the correct symbol wins the Direction card. If a player calls out a wrong answer, they must discard one Direction card they’ve already won. Rounds continue in this manner until someone has won six Direction cards, in which case they are the winner!
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: The cards are of a very thick stock, making them easy to grab and move around. The artwork on the cards is cartoonish and very suitable for children. The symbols are clear and easy to tell apart, and the whole thing reminded me of “Bob the Builder” for some reason. All the cards fit easily into a cardboard insert in a small, colorful box.
2.) Rules: The rules, which come in three languages, are on four fully-colored pages, showing exact illustrations and examples of how the game works. As you can see above, an explanation of the game is incredibly short, and I have the game running in less than thirty seconds. With younger kids, explanations may take a bit longer as you stress that you are moving left and right according to the traffic officers, not yourself.
3.) Educational and Fun Factor: The game is a one-trick pony, teaching left and right. But it does so in a pretty good and fun way. I’m not good at the game, as I stated above; but it is a lot of fun. I’m not sure I’d ever want to play the game for a long time; but as it is something that I can pull out quickly, it’s a nifty game.
I’m a huge fan of the Bright Idea Games line. Right Turn, Left Turn, while not as useful to me as some of the others in the line, still has a niche that probably no other game covers. As you can see, I didn’t have a lot to say about the game, because the title pretty much sums it up correctly. If you want a fun little activity/game that helps people differentiate their left from their right, then this game is for you!
“Real men play board games”