Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review - Xeko Mission: China

What do Madagascar, Costa Rica, Indonesia and China have in common? Xeko (pronounced Zee-ko) Eco-Adventure Games!! This cool, award-winning trading card-type of game currently covers the conservation hotspots of these four countries, with my beloved China being the latest in Xeko Mission: China. What better timing could there be than right now, while there is such interest in China following the Olympics!

Here is what I found:

Xeko games are created as eco-conscious and educational where the players collect and trade cards. Get it? Xeko, Eco? Thought you might.;) The object of the game is for the players to create the Xeko-system that is the strongest and has a good balance of the species and the resources that are available.

With so much more to offer than your typical cartoon-based versions, this is a completely collectible way for adults and kids alike to learn all about China!

In our house, we love animals and animals from China are some of our favorites. This game really helps to teach the players about the amazing Panda, the King Cobra and Miss P3's latest fascination, the endangered Snow Leopard. The Xeko Mission: China starter set is packaged in a pagoda shaped box decorated with animals from China's countryside. Throughout the game you find wonderful illustrations of creatures like the mysterious dragon so prevalent in Chinese culture.

Here is what I did like:

The artwork is beautiful and really adds to the overall ambiance of the game. Two of my greatest loves are my kids and animals and Xeko Mission: China addresses both. It educates about China's amazing animals, takes you on an imaginary world adventure, and helps teach environmental problem-solving...a prize winning combination in my opinion!

Xeko does not just preach ecology and conservation either. The cards and packaging made of 100% recycled stock, and all printing is done with eco-friendly inks.

I also love the fact that Conservation International is Xeko’s non-profit partner and recipient of 4% of net game sales.

The company has also created a terrific website where you can take a closer look at all the individual cards , see a demonstration on how the game works and even join Club Xeko where you can get insider tips, newsletters and other cool stuff.

Here is what I didn't like:

There were very few things I disliked about this game. I did however feel a little overwhelmed when I first looked at the game and was unsure that I would ever be able to learn how to play. I should not have worried though, because the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The only other thing I really did not like was that while younger children can play and enjoy the game, Xeko is best suited for kids ages 8 years and up and my kids are not quite 7 and under.

Here is what I say:

If you like games that teach as well as entertain, then Xeko Mission: China is a great place to start. The game is well made, well thought out and very user friendly.

Each starter set comes with:

41 Cards
Playmat / EcoMap Giant Learn-to-Play Cards
2 Limited-Edition Sketch Cards

You can take a closer look at all the individual cards here and see a demonstration on how the game works here.
For ages 8 and up. Mission: China’s MSRP is $24.99; 9-card booster packs are $3.99. The games are avialable at specialty toy and game stores nationwide, and Barnes & Noble stores nationally.

About Matter Group, LLC – By creating children’s toys and games that turn kids into eco-adventurers, Matter Group, the maker of Xeko, hopes that kids will have fun while being inspired to preserve and protect our planet. The Seattle-based company launched Xeko in 2006 and is currently working on projects to extend the Xeko entertainment property into television, film, and merchandise. For more information, visit

If you would like to get one of the starter sets and 2 booster packs, run over to 3 P's in aPod through Sunday night, 8/31!


Be sure to check out my other blog, 3 P's in a Pod!

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