When I first saw some of the promotional materials for the new Cogno games, I didn’t think they could actually be fun. It’s really hard to make a good educational science board game that kids actually want to play. But I’ve been keeping an eye on it for a couple of months and after watching it rack up countless awards and accolades, I’m finally convinced.
Kids race their aliens around the universe, following various paths and shortcuts, answering interesting science-related questions. The questions are mostly multiple choice or True/False, and the game comes with “Cogno’s Book of Y”, which provides explanations for each of the answers. The game is so uniquely designed that the company has patents pending for each of the games they have produced. In addition to the space-themed game, which is for children ages 7 and up, they have a slightly more challenging version with a deep-sea theme, also for ages 7 and up. Their website has a lot of good information, including a video of Cogno’s inventor demonstrating the game. I get the sense that these games are all a bit difficult to explain, but lots of fun to play.
Their newest game is called Codebreaker, and it looks really interesting. It’s not a science-based game like the others, rather it’s more of a matching game with a twist. Each player creates a code to remember where their matches are by writing on the back of the card. Players try to crack their opponents’ code to steal their matched sets. Initial feedback on this game has been really outstanding, but it just arrived in our store.