It can be difficult to learn to play chess but Brain Blox makes it easy for even young children or adults with no experience to play with Fun Family Chess. As a child, I never learned how to play chess. But I am surrounded by an entire family of chess players. My husband has played since he was a child, and my children learned how to play when they were younger. So when I saw the opportunity to review this game come up, I was thrilled about the opportunity.
According to their website, “Brain Blox offers toys, games, and journals to empower families toward a more conscious vibrant lifestyle.” Fun Family Chess is designed for single players or teams of family members to play together. Whether you or your child(ren) learn best by watching videos or reading directions, this company has something to offer you.
For this review, our game came packaged in a box. When we opened the box, we found the chessboard folded in half with fasteners to keep it closed. When we unfolded the board, we found the chess pieces in two separate velvet-like bags, cards to explain how the various pieces move, along with a die that can be used to direct what piece you may move. The chessboard is painted white and is very striking. We also received a two-month membership to Chesskid.com, which provides a family-safe place for children to learn how to play chess. I also appreciated how the pieces are displayed on each side of the board to show where the different pieces need to be placed.
I am someone who learns best by doing, and I prefer learning against someone who is going to be patient with me. So I elected to play against our daughter, with my husband providing coaching in the background. As an adult learning to play the game for the first time, I found the die kept things moving along (especially with my husband helping me). I found the game intense, and the cards really helped me know how the pieces could move.
I think that understanding how the different pieces can move is one of the most challenging parts for me. However, the video on the website illustrating how the pieces can move was very helpful. There are a number of videos on the site including how to set up the chessboard for Fun Family Chess, how to play Fun Family Chess, how to move the pieces, and how to play standard chess once you learn how to play Fun Family Chess.
My ultimate goal is to have my three sons and husband play a championship game using the die to add a bit of excitement.
There are some differences between Fun Family Chess and Standard Chess:
- In Standard Chess, you do not use a cube to tell you how to move your pieces.
- In Fun Family Chess, you win by capturing your opponent’s king. In Standard Chess, you win by putting your opponent’s king in checkmate or possibly ending the game in a stalemate (meaning no one wins).
- In standard chess, when you move a pawn to the opposite side of the board, you can promote your pawn to any piece you choose except to a king).
- If a pawn moves beside your pawn, you can do a move called “En Passant”, meaning in passing you can capture that pawn.
- Finally, in standard Chess, there is castling where your rook and king can switch places if all of a given set of circumstances exists.
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