Ages 8 and up

Players 3 to 5

Playing Time 30 minutes

It's recess time at a parochial school. This mean it is time to try to get away with as much as possible. Keep off the radar of the roaming nuns, start fights, and even try to steal a kiss. How successful you are during recess will determine if you will dominate the playground.

Two games come to mind when I think of the game Recess: Chess and Lunch Money. Lunch Money is fun card game from Atlas Games, the makers of Recess. In Recess, you move your children around the playground, start fights with other children to get their lunch money. Recess lasts for 30 minutes, and the winner is the person who has the most lunch money. There are rules should two players have the same amount.

Each player has one minute to complete their moves. Each person has a "3,2,1, nun" sequence of moves. This means you can move one of your children three spaces, another child two, and one child one space. You also move one nun during your turn.

Players start fights with other players when they move into the same square with them. Fights do not happen if the player does not land in that square. If you have to move 3 spaces, then you can't move 2 and fight. It is the same for telling a nun about a fight. You have to land in the nun's square by exact count. The nun will then break up the fight. Other children can break up fights by landing in the fighting square. Each of the fighting children are then pushed into an adjacent but separate square. Until a fight is broken up, the attacked player must pay one coin to the aggressor each time his turn comes around.

The playground consists of four panels that can be placed in any pattern. There are obstacles on the playground like slides and merry-go-rounds that children can't move through. These obstacles can also block the vision of the nuns, so fights can be started behind playground objects.

Each turn players advance the clock by one. Flip the egg timer to ensure that players take no more than one minute to make their moves. The first time you play the game you may want to play without the egg timer to give players a chance to really get a handle on the game.

Recess is an entertaining game. The learning curve is about 15 minutes. Once you start playing then it is easy to catch on to the game mechanics. Like chess, your moves will be very important to your overall success in the game. Recess is a good way to practice playing a strategic game that isn't too complicated and a lot of fun. It is recommended for children eight years and older, but with the help of an adult, a younger child will be able to play and enjoy this game.

I received this game from Atlas games for review purposes. Opinions expressed are 100% mine.

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