We *love* playing games in our house. I like to stick to basic, simple games we can all play that don’ require I learn a lot of rules (haha). This is why I have avoided learning Chess … I’ve never played in my entire life, until we received Fun Family Chess by Brain Blox.
This has quickly become one of my personal favorite games, as well as a family favorite! I can officially mark learning chess off my list of things to do one day. =) If you’ve been intimidated to learn or teach chess in the past, this is the game for you and your family.
What’s inside the box?
- the very nice folding chess board, which is the container for the pieces (also lined in a soft material for quiet storage of said pieces)
- 32 wooden chess pieces
- playing cube
- 2 velvet-y bags to contain the pieces-one for dark set, one for light set
- 2 reference cards
- a handy chess instruction booklet
How is Fun Family Chess different from regular Chess?
- you roll a dice to choose your play; if you can’t make that move (ex: you no longer have that piece, or that movement is blocked) you roll again until you can move
- each piece is featured on the dice, except the king
- when you roll the star, you can move any piece you wish (and this is the only way to move your king)
- the board has pictures to help players set up correctly
- pictures on the board match the pieces and reference cards; each of these are color coded to show what piece to move and how to move it
- you win by capturing the opponents King
- there is no check, checkmate, etc in Fun Family Chess- just capture the King
For our family, all of whom had never played chess before, this has been a great introduction to playing the game! We have loved learning to play with Fun Family Chess. The reference cards and color coding has helped so much with understanding how each piece moves, something I have never understood in my almost 34 years. Now my kids are able to set up and play the game without any help from me.
My two older children (newly 7 and 9) learned the game so fast because of how Brain Blox has set up the game- rolling the dice takes out the hard part of learning strategy, allowing kids to focus on how to move, the names of pieces, and how to set up, first. Then, they can gradually start playing more and more like traditional chess. My children very quickly tried their hand at playing without the cube, just using strategy and the reference cards, but still not check-mating, or castling. The game board itself helps to set up everyone up for success and understanding with the simple illustrations that are clean, and easy to match with their pieces.
This is by far one of my son’s favorite games, and with all the benefits chess brings to the table (ha-pun intended), I don’t mind him playing it as often as he likes with his siblings. I love that he can easily refer to the reference cards to figure out the name of a piece when he forgets, and the cards have such simple to understand, color coded visuals for how each piece moves.
Y’all, I never really thought we would ever start learning to play chess, but I am so glad we have!
Fun Family Chess is simple enough for my 5 year old to play against me with some help, but challenging enough for my older kiddos to enjoy playing more competitively. This is definitely going on my “suggested Christmas gifts” list!
Brain Blox’s incredibly helpful videos are fun, and easy to understand if you need a visual explanation or some clarification (like I did). You can find their chess videos here, or on the Brain Blox youtube channel.
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