Being a huge fan of everything Smithsonian, I knew that a game based on items and facts found there, that would teach my girls about one of the greatest museums in the world would be a quick favorite of mine. Turns out, I’m right again! Mission Museum: The Case of the Missing Mummy is a team-based game that puts you right in the middle of the Smithsonian, trying to answer questions that are guaranteed to teach your kids (and you) a thing or two about people, places, animals and inventions from the dawn of time to today. Did you know that bronze is an alloy that revolutionized farming and warfare, or the visors of US astronaut’s helmets are covered in 14 karat gold because it reflects sunlight? We didn’t either! We also learned how many pounds of buffalo meat the Lewis and Clark expedition ate every day, and what an arapaima is, but you’ll have to play to learn these answers.
Now, back to the game – you work as a team to complete your Mission card and collect the artifact tokens that are revealed for your Mission. Each player takes turns with Challenge cards, and you work with all players to answer multiple choice questions, unscramble words, solve rebus puzzles, match a variety of topics or find select words in word search puzzles. When you flip the Challenge Card to see if you’re correct, you find a hidden mini lesson that you can only read with a special magnifying glass. Players get to move spaces if they answer the Challenge question correctly – if they’re wrong, the mummy moves one of the six spaces around the board, until it’s let loose and escapes the Smithsonian. In order to win, you must successfully collect the three artifact tokens on you Mission card and using the magnifying glass, read the words found on the tokens to release the spell and send the mummy back to his sarcophagus.
The game itself comes with eight different mission cards, sixteen artifact tokens, and over one hundred Challenge cards. The length of each game varies depending on how quickly you find your artifact tokens on the game board. Since the game is made for 2 – 4 players, it will take a very long time to make it through all of the Challenge cards. According to the instructions, Smithsonian – Mission Museum: The Case of the Missing Mummy is for ages seven and up. Personally, I think that the target range is closer to nine and up, if kids are playing on their own, just based on the vocabulary. For younger ages, I would say that an adult would need to be playing, to help with many topics and concepts found within the cards that are well above common primary school knowledge.
As a 5th grade teacher, I’d say this game is a homerun – the kids in my class are absolutely going to love it (that is, if my girls let me take it out of our house!). The facts are more than interesting – they’re quirky, which, if you’ve got ten year olds around, you know that the stranger the topic the more fun it is to learn. Who knows, these questions could come in handy if they ever make it to game show bonus rounds!
GIVEAWAY: One (1) That’s IT Mommy reader will receive the Smithsonian – Mission Museum: The Case of the Missing Mummy Board Game . This giveaway is open to US residents only (18+). Ends 11/16/11.
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*This giveaway will run through midnight on November 16, 2011 (PST). Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received Smithsonian – Mission Museum from Discovery Bay Games free of charge to facilitate this review. Giveaway item will be provided by sponsor. Sponsor has the right to refuse filling prize for duplicate winners from other blogs. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.