I learned a lot while driving around with my parents. Specifically, I picked up a collection of swearwords any eight-year-old could be proud of.
This cute little game, however, teaches an entirely different skillset: the skill of logic.
It’s not just a game for kids, though. Many parents will find themselves spending hours and hours with this game that they originally bought for their kids. It’s that addictive. In fact, even grandparents will appreciate the game, it’s a great way to keep the brain active and effective.
The first step, which is by far the most tedious, is to draw a card from a deck of 40 arranged by difficulty level. You then place a number of small plastic cars on a rectangular grid, including the hero of the game, Red Car.
Red Car wants to get out of the parking lot, but has carelessly parked all the way at the back. Since then, everybody and his brother have also left their cars there without any regard for the urgent hurry Red might be in. These cars can be moved, but only backwards and forwards – if Red Car wants to leave, he’ll have to think several steps ahead, be patient and probably deal with several false starts.
This video shows how it’s done:
The publisher of this game claims that it is suitable for ages 8 and up, but many adults will give up on the harder levels. You can win, or should I say escape, by being either smart or persistent – either of which are great qualities for a child to develop.
The cost is pretty low, too, especially considering how many hours of play you and your kids will get out of it. The worst part is that the solution to each puzzle is printed on the back of its card – the temptation to sneak a peek just seems unnecessarily cruel.
If you want to see what it’s all about, you can also download this free app. The real game is way more fun, though. Setting up the board invests about a minute of time, so you’re also more likely to stick to the task until Red Car is finally free. Plus, it will let you appreciate the app more.
In addition, it does seem to be easier to visualize possible solutions when you can touch the pieces. Anything that pulls these budding little geeks away from their screens is inherently a good thing, anyway.