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Laser Chess

Lower Age: 8+
Website: https://www.thinkfun.com/products/laser-chess/
Price: $39.99
Year Added: 2018
Laser Chess- Image1

Laser Chess, a strategic game by Thinkfun, is a fresh, laser-infused take on the ubiquitous strategy game! The gift contains the game board, 26 playing pieces, as well as a small packet of instructions. The packet includes different setups for the game, which allow users to experience the game at various levels of complexity.

 

Much like chess, the goal in this game is to eliminate the enemy’s king piece; however, in this case the user does this by hitting the king with a laser! Playing pieces have different features such as one sided mirror, four sided mirror, and a plastic that blocks the laser beam. The laser beam generator stays set at the corner of the gameboard, and by moving the various pieces in a strategic manner, the player must eliminate the opponent’s pieces and find a way to eventually hit their king. These features complicates the game as players have to keep thinking of methods to not get eliminated but at the same time eliminate other player. The game also adds in a layer of strategy that is not present in a traditional chess game, as players often have to plan laser paths interact with opponent’s playing pieces in order to win. One concern that arises about the gift is that it appears to be possible to create a no-win condition, where the king pieces cannot be eliminated, within as few as 10 turns, and so players might choose to agree to avoid these sorts of piece arrangements.

 

Overall, this game has some outstanding features that promotes the players to improve their mathematical and geometrical skills. For a younger audience, playing this game helps them  to understand simple concept of optics, and they can learn it through test and trials during the play, and for older players, the strategy involved serves an excellent test of problem-solving and critical thinking.

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: idea generation, recognize patterns, apply science knowledge

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: criteria, constraints

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: spatial reasoning skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, logical thinking

Overall ratings:

  • Children’s Reviews
    • Rating: 4.2 out of 5.0
    • Feedback: “pretty awesome! Not sure why I liked it but I did”
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback: “Great game to learn w/ parents or older kids.”
  • Engineering and STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • It was fun, strategic, and competitive.