Inside: Looking for an educational game to teach history? Trekking Through History is fun but doesn’t feel like learning!
I was blessed with (yes, I’m going to call it that) two out of three children that don’t enjoy school. As a former schoolteacher, this seemed like a cruel joke; however, it has forced me to become creative with their education and helped me remember children learn through various methods.
One of the best ways I’ve found to get my kids interested in learning is through board games. Trekking Through History by Underdog Games is the perfect way to get my kids interested in learning history without even realizing it.
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I received a copy of Trekking Through History along with financial compensation for this review. My opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
What Is Trekking Through History
Trekking Through History is a family board game that allows players to time travel and visit events in history. By traveling in a time machine, you visit and learn about moments in the past while trying to beat the clock.
You can play with two to four players, ages 10 and up. The average game time is about 45 minutes.
It’s meant to be a lighter game for families to play instead of some of the board games you find these days that are very involved and complicated to play. We own some of those games and most of my children don’t enjoy them.
How It’s Played
As I mentioned, Trekking Through History is played like you are traveling through thousands of years of history over three days. Each of the days is a round in the game.
On your turn, you choose a moment in history from the available history cards on the board to spend several hours visiting. You move your pocket watch around the clock to the number of hours specified on the card.
You can adjust the time you spend with time crystals you earn, which can help change the order of your next turn or gain points at the end of a round.
Each player also earns experience tokens to place on an itinerary and gets more points. The experiences can be person, event, innovation, progress, or there’s a wild token you can use in place of them.
As your cards from each day are collected, you lay them on the table in front of you in what’s called a Trek. The idea is to put the dates of those cards in chronological order and keep it going as long as possible to get the most points at the end. The longer the Trek, the more points you earn.
If you can’t find a card that fits in the date range of your Trek, you have the option of starting a new Trek or choosing an Ancestor card. Ancestor cards allow you to keep your Trek going in hopes there will be a card that fits in your date range in the next round.
A round ends when all players have made it back to twelve o’clock. You then choose a new itinerary, set out another deck of cards, and the tour continues until three days have gone by.
Are There Other Options
Trekking Through History has a solo mode where you can play the game yourself against The Historian, who can create difficulties that differ from a multiplayer game. They include destroying your time crystals and blocking you from visiting ancestors. You can play the solo mode in four levels of difficulty.
Trekking Through History Components
There was a lot of thought put into the parts of this game! At first, I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces involved. But once I went through the instructions, it was very easy to set up, and the quality of the game impressed me.
Awesome materials you’ll find in the game:
- Scoring tokens made from real wood
- Time crystals that look like real crystals
- Thick cards with beautiful pictures on one side and facts on the other
- Tokens with embossed symbols
- Divided token holder with a lid so pieces can be stored
- Scoring mat made from thick non-slip materials (which I appreciate so the kids can’t bump it when we’re playing and shift the point tokens around)
As you can see from the picture above, it’s a very colorful and inviting game when it’s set up.
Why You Should Play Trekking Through History
This game is a lot of fun, but there are other reasons you should play it.
If you have children with unique learning styles, this is going to appeal to them. The big cards with gorgeous images are visually attractive. The information on the back of each is interesting and they’ll enjoy picking up tidbits of facts.
Your hands-on learners will love all the different textures, shapes, and sizes of the game pieces, as well as moving them around the boards. Heck, I even thought they were cool!
Family Game Nights
If you do family game nights (if you don’t, you should), this game is perfect! Gather everyone around and start traveling through history. We included my mother-in-law, and we all had a blast.
Playing games together builds family bonds. Families are busy these days running around in all directions. Playing board games is a chance for everyone to slow down and focus on each other.
Multiple Skills Are Being Taught
Not only are games enjoyable, but they also encourage patience, increase communication skills, and teach cooperation. These are all much needed skills these days!
Kids Are Learning without Realizing It
It was fun for us older folks to recognize familiar events and people and then tell the younger ones about them. The stories intrigued my daughters, and they were way more interested in them than they would be reading a textbook.
Teaches History in an Inviting Way
Not too many kids get excited about reading history. It’s one of those subjects that can feel boring to kids. This is a fantastic way to introduce them to different people and topics, and when there’s one they’re interested in, you could turn it into a small unit study. This would be great for the lesser known historical events that are included in the game.
Finding activities your children enjoy that don’t include electronics can be difficult. Most of us struggle with this and it’s a constant battle.
Playing games is a perfect substitute. It challenges their mind, offers friendly competition, AND teaches sportsmanship.
The more screen-free activities our kids enjoy doing, the better they will be for it.
Why We Love It
This game really surprised me. I honestly thought with all the reading on the cards that my kids wouldn’t want to play it, but I was wrong! They were voluntarily reading the cards out loud on their turns.
There’s a chart that comes with the game showing all the dates in the correct order for each day. This was a great tool that helped my kids figure out the order of the cards they should choose, especially when there are BCE dates involved.
The game is more than just putting dates in order. There is strategy involved, which uses critical thinking skills. I love to see the wheels turning in their heads and they don’t even realize it. It’s the best kind of learning!
Who Would Benefit from This Game
I think this game would appeal to a wide variety of people, but especially the following:
- Kinesthetic learners because it’s very tactile
- Those who love facts and history
- Visual learners who will be drawn to the images and colorful game pieces
- Auditory learners who can listen as players read the information on their cards
- Families who enjoy game nights
- Art lovers that will appreciate the beautiful pictures on the cards
- Gameschooling families who are always looking for great games
- Kids and adults who to like to read
- Anyone who likes friendly competitive games
What Part of History Does the Game Cover
One of the most difficult tasks for Underdog Games was choosing the historical events to use in the game. There’s a lot that’s gone on over the years and everyone has a different opinion of what’s important.
The creators of the game used one question with two different criteria to make their decisions.
The question was, “If you were to actually go on vacation to visit historical events in time, and actually participate in those events, what would you choose to do?”
From there, they determined that some events in history, such as WWII, were big, but not something they would want to visit. Second, there are a lot of moments in history that aren’t necessarily momentous, but they are inspiring and worth seeing.
The developers did their best to include a variety of known and unknown events that span the last 5,000 years. They narrowed it down to 108 historical events from around the world, and I think they did a great job with their selections.
Were you blessed with any non-traditional learners and struggle to find creative ways to motivate them?
Have you tried using board games? Trekking Through History by Underdog Games would be a great one to start with. It’s easy to learn, caters to all learning styles, and feels like you’re going back in time to experience some amazing moments!