Monday, October 14, 2019

Brain Blox Fun Family Chess Review

If you know my family, then you know that C is obsessed with chess.  I love how easy Brain Blox makes it for everyone (even younger children) to learn how to play chess with their Fun Family Chess.

First, I want to say that this set is absolutely beautiful.  The board and pieces are so well made.  This set comes with a wooden chess board, 32 solid wood chess pieces (16 dark brown and 16 white), 2 velvet bags to sort and protect your pieces, a wooden chess cube, 2 reference cards, and a full color instructions booklet.  You can play Fun Family Chess as well as regular chess.

Our Fun Family Chess set.  You can see that the board folds in half for easy storage and the inside has a soft velvet lining.

Here you can see the pieces set up on the board.  There is a picture grid on the board to help kids learn the correct placing of the pieces.

Fun Family Chess

So, what exactly is Fun Family Chess?  It was created to make chess more fun and easy to learn for both kids and adults.  Think of it as a more kid-friendly version of the game of chess.  Fun Family Chess is a 2 player game but you can also have 2 teams (so multiple people can partner together against others).  One thing that makes this game fairly different from regular chess is the chess cube.  It is a 6-sided dice with colored pictures of a rook, bishop, queen, knight, pawn and star on each side.  There are 2 game reference cards for each player or team.  The cards show you the six different chess pieces and how they can move along the chess board.

 You can see the chess cube above.

A color coded reference card makes it even easier for younger players to match up their roll with the piece they need to move.

The rules are fairly simple.  The white or light team rolls first.  You roll the cube and move the piece that you roll.  If you can move you must.  If you cannot move the piece that you roll or you no longer have that piece, you roll again until you get a piece you can move.  If you roll a star, you choose which piece you want to move.  There is no picture of a king on the chess cube so the only way to move it is to roll a star.  As you play this game you capture your opponent's pieces by landing on the square of the piece, like in normal chess.  The goal of this game is to capture your opponent's king, that's it!  Once you do that, you win or vice versa.

 C and F playing

 F moving one of his pawns.

F thinking about his next move.

The Family Fun Chess method of learning chess allows you to learn the complexities of chess in stages and have fun as you learn.  Now C already knows way more about regular chess than I do but I appreciate this gradual approach to the game for my younger crew.  I think it really helps them learn about the pieces and how they move around the board so they have a better framework for how to view regular chess.  This is a super fun addition to have for game nights, parties and would make a great gift as well!  You can purchase Fun Family Chess here.

C playing a game with E.

 B playing with E.

 B won this round.

After you master Fun Family Chess for awhile, you can learn the few extra rules that are used in regular chess.  Here they are - First, there is no chess cube used.  Second, winning is a bit different.  Instead of capturing your opponent's king, you essentially trap it so that they cannot move by putting it into checkmate.   Third is pawn promotion.  In regular chess, if you can get one of your pawns safely across the board to the other side it is instantly promoted to any piece you choose (except a king).  Fourth, there is also the rule of en passant.  If your opponent moves one of their pawn two spaces on their first move which lands side-by-side to one of your pawns, you can capture your opponents pawn by moving diagonally behind it.  And the fifth and final rule is castling, which lets you move your rook and king in the same turn.  You can only castle when both the king and the rook haven't moved yet during the game, the spaces between the king and the rook are empty, the king is not currently in check, and the king would not pass through any squares that would place it in check while castling.  It might sound complicated but I'm certain that if you start with the basics and begin with Fun Family Chess, it won't be long until your are mastering all the rules of the game.

Below is a little video that shows you a bit about Fun Family Chess.

And this next video shows you how to play Fun Family Chess and walks you through some sample plays as well.

Please check out my review on Wooden Building Planks, another fun product by Brain Blox.

As always, be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Fun Family Chess by Brain Blox.

Fun Family Chess {Brain Blox Reviews}

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