Game Review: The French and Indian War Game

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# of Players: 2

Time: 30 Mins

Age- 6+

Gamer Type: Any

Game Type: Battle Game/ Dice Roller

Complexity: 4

It is very rare that I give a gaming company props in my reviews.  I always focus on their games and what the game is about, so I guess that is giving the company a compliment in a way. However, The Historical Game Company really impresses me with their business model. They create games for museums and historical societies to give teachers and these institutions a way to bring history to life for students. Their games allow teachers and institutions to move beyond “this is what life was like” and ask the question of “what would you do in this situation?” This really can bring new players, children and adults alike, into a better understanding of history in the world.


This game is based around the French and Indian war of Colonial America.  The game looks at the battles, the armies, and the leaders in that war.  Players work their way across the map looking at the great border between France and Great Britain. The game moves from 1755-1760, letting players see how the war effort would have played out if different choices had been made. 6.5 of 10.

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The artwork is what I would call colonial, from the map to the cards, we have the look of the era represented in the game. The box is also an easy size to fit with other games on your shelf (because of the game type, it fits great with the GMT boxes on the shelves). The city cards make play interesting, and though they each have the same picture, almost make you feel like you are looking at a military camp. 6 of 10.


The game is a dice roller/strategy game. The strategy and choices are kept simple to keep the players moving along the basic lines of the French and Indian war (it is historical, after all). The mechanics are kept simple so that anyone at the museum could pick the game up quickly, but this does not detract from the fun of the game. For the same reason that chess, checkers, and Monopoly are among the best-selling games of all time, The French and Indian War is a success for what it is made for: helping people have fun learning history. 6 of 10.


Offense and defense are represented quite readily in any war game; French and Indian War is no exception to this. We do see the ability to rush early on, but this is at a dramatic sacrifice to engine building. Likewise, a player can build a strong strategy in a region, but they will have to take time to do this. This is great balance in such a simple game, which leads to a score of 8 out of 10.


9 of 10. I love learning games and I love war games. Putting the two together seems like common sense, but you do not see this on the market very much. Games always move beyond the learning games to high strategy, forgetting that it is the child in all of us who likes to game. This means that when a gem like this comes around, we should take the time to let kids play it to learn about the war – but then let adults play it to remind us why we avoid war.


This game has a great score in the learning games category, 35.5 out of 50.  Sometimes we need to remind people about our history, and that history includes things such as war. This game does not glorify war, but it does not gorify it either; it simply shows it as it is. Now, we do not see the bone saws and the battle wounds in this game; that would not be appropriate for kids.  However, we do see the places and the paths that our forebearers followed as the fate of this continent and this nation were decided. If you are a history teacher, war gamer, or just someone who wants your kids to have an appreciation of history, this is a nice game to have for your collection.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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