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Gridopolis Game #1: Matrix

Lower Age: 8+
Website: https://shop.gridopolis.games/
Year Added: 2019

Gridopolis: The Build-and-Play-in-3D Strategy Game! by Gridopolis is a twist on the classic games of chess and checkers, and is made for two to four players. Before gameplay starts, players need to construct the 3D game board, which can be adapted to the number of players. Every player starts with six pawns and the following construction materials: two posts, two blocker boxes, and three pads with links. These pieces can be used throughout the game to modify the game board. Players eliminate their opponents’ pawns by jumping over them and the goal of the game is to have the last pawn standing. If that’s taking too long, the game can be played with a time limit. Much like checkers, players can turn their pawns into kings by reaching the opponent's home base.

 

With a three-story game board, players have a plethora of moves to choose from and the game includes special moves where players can teleport across the board, block spaces or build new moves onto the board. The game comes with a guide that explains the types of moves each player can make on a given turn. The rules regarding legal moves can become complicated due to the multi-level nature of the game board and the ability to manipulate the board as the game is played, so younger players may need adult assistance to explain and play the game. 

 

Gridopolis applies critical thinking in a space that requires heavy spatial reason. To be successful in the game, players have to be able to look ahead at all angles of the game board to understand all the moves available to them. As players gain more experience they begin to understand the importance of where they position their pawns with both defense and offense in mind. The game also applies a design aspect as the board can be added onto and players can manipulate it to their advantage. Gridopolis is perfect for children who thrive on competition and are excited to think outside of the box. 

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about:

Plan a solution, Analyze a solution, Recognize patterns

 

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: 

Constraints

 

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Spatial reasoning skills, Critical thinking, Iterative design

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews

    • Rating:  3.3 out of 5.0

    • Feedback: 

      • "I like the building part of the toy."

  • Parents Reviews

    • Rating:  4.0 out of 5.0

  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews

    • Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • "Similar to chess, the game requires critical thinking and for each player to think ahead. Each competitor needs to consider each move and its possible outcomes."

      • “Gridopolis uses skills that are required in engineering tasks such as critical thinking, spatial reasoning and iterative design. Players need to be able to balance these concepts to be able to beat their opponent.”