Chicken War is a strategy game by Thinkfun made for ages eight and older to play in groups of two to four.
The game comes with an instruction manual, four screens, game tiles, eggs, and leader tokens. In the set up stage, players shuffle the “chicken tiles” and are given 10 each. Each player selects one chicken as his or her leader, and the end goal is to guess the other player’s leader or match all chicken cards to one’s own leader. Each chicken card pictures a chicken with four traits: a weapon, eyewear, shirt color, and footwear. “Matching” a chicken to a leader means those two cards have exactly two traits in common. Throughout the game, chicken cards are replaced by the player or stolen by an opponent.
Chicken War requires players to pay close attention to both how his or her chicken cards match up to the leader and the moves opponents are making. The game requires a player to create a plan or method to reach the end goal of matching all chicken cards to the leader. This entails pattern recognition and logical thinking. Strategy enters the picture when considering that opponents are also trying to match their chickens to their leaders. Every player must pay close attention to others’ moves, and use evidence-based reasoning to make inferences as to which chicken is the opponent’s leader. There are lots of moving parts and the game takes a little bit to learn well, but it is challenging and fun, giving players freedom to determine the best method for success.
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"It is not obvious at first, but Chicken War uses lots of thinking processes similar to those engineers need to execute. There is a clear end goal, and many possible routes the player can take to reach it; all chickens have to have exactly two traits in common with the "leader," but they must not be identical. This promotes attention to detail. There is also strategy involved, which encourages critical thinking. To win, a player ideally would be good at hiding who their "leader" chicken is while also recognizing patterns in the other player's moves."