TOYplay Tip: Crosswise by Mindware


Friday night is the perfect time for family game night. This past week we decided to try out a new game called Crosswise. The box says that “Crosswise is the game that has players thinking in all different directions.”

Thinking in different directions is exactly what it did. Crosswise is a fast paced game that uses a mixture of shape tiles and action tiles to create high-scoring color combinations in horizontal or vertical rows. You must think ahead as every tile that you play might score points for the other team. My kids picked the concept up very quickly, however my husband was a bit frustrated, in the beginning, as you definitely have to remember which axis your team is playing on (horizontal or vertical).

As the game progressed, we were able to invent new strategies to win. It was fun to see new ideas develop, and hear a little table talk, as every move can take your team in an entirely new direction. Different combinations of multiple shapes can earn you points, but watch out as your opponent might play an action tile which lets them move tiles around the board unexpectedly. Crosswise only takes about 20 minutes to play, which is great, as the attention span of my younger children is often short.

There are 6 different colored shape tiles, so the next day I used them with my 5-year-old for patterning and sequencing exercises.

This game is perfect for 2 – 4 players and leaves everyone thinking about their opponent’s strategy.

Developmental areas: Strategic thinking, patterning, sequencing.

Recommended ages: 4 and up

Playing Time per Game: Less than 20 minutes

Extension Activities: use the game pieces to work on patterning and sequencing skills

Tested and review written by:

Jeanne Brooksbank, and 5, 8 and 11-year-old children

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