You could say the Masterpiece board game is 'exercise for the mind' in a box. Normally if you pick the right game, it helps to keep the players entertained, but will also help them learn several new skills.
Despite knowing this, I've never felt the need to bring in too many games into the house, since my kids enjoy and have access to outdoors. The only time I feel they could use such games is when it gets cold and they stay indoors due to the snow. Also since my kids are 8years, 11years and 13 years and I find they are pretty much able to do their own thing in the own rooms without getting into each others hair... or mine for that matter.
So I have to accept that when my brother-in-law first brought the Masterpiece board game into our house I was not amused. He is a savvy man and I wondered what made him get the game for our family. My kids also voiced some sort of disappointment since usually their 'Uncle Harry' gets them really exciting gifts.
Of course what we did not know was that this one was the best gift he had ever given us.
The game is a simple one that involves auctioning of the art pieces. There are a total of 24 art pieces that will be auctioned. These pieces could be fakes and you get to know only after you have purchased the painting. The game needs a minimum of two players and can be played between a maximum of 6 players. The age on the box says 8 years to adults and I fully agree with that.
The appeal of the Masterpiece board game lies in its intriguing game plan. Its lure is mutual to adults and kids alike and this is why we were able to enjoy it as a family. Some major areas where I found the game really effective were:
Also the art of bluffing is interesting in this game. Not only did the kids learn that art pieces do sell for a lot of money, only for the buyer to find out later that the piece is a fake, but they also learnt to catch the bluffing in time. I feel in today's highly commercial world, these are skills that kids this age should know. Knowing who is bluffing is important so that children learn the skills of life.
Concepts of banks are made clearer and several other similar business strategies are developed by the game.
The kids had to calculate in millions and this definitely helped brush up their mathematical skills. There was no more ten dollars minus 5 dollars. Here the list of zeros is long and the game often sends the adults running for a calculator too.
Of course the fact that the auction game uses art pieces of famous artists is a hugely educative backdrop to this game. Of the 24 painting cards, there were quite a few that even my husband did not know of. Names like Picasso, Pollock, and Van Gough were known to most of us, but then the works of Homer, Woods, Ruben, Velazquez, Monet, etc were completely new information.
My youngest took quite an interest in these paintings and showed off his knowledge well in his class debate.
The game is so interesting that it bought us all out of our respective rooms and we learnt to enjoy the family room together as a wholesome unit. Indeed the Masterpiece board game is not bluff; it is in fact a real masterpiece in quite a number of learning ways.