Monza is colorful take on a traditional racing game for young players in which students maneuver around the track while avoiding other cars and obstacles that might be in their way. The race track is made up of colored segments with a few impassable spaces scattered across the lanes. As players make their way around the track, each space can only hold one car, though students may move through spaces with other cars in them. If they do finish their turn on a space with another car, that car is pushed back a space in the same lane. Players continue taking turns, making their way around the track until one player crosses the finish line.
The real challenge for students are the decisions on how to best move their car. In the game, car movement is controlled by a handful of colored dice that students roll on their turn and put into a sequence in order to move along the board. Each die that matches a colored space next to the player’s car allows them to move forward into that space. The more dice student can string together, the farther they can move on their turn. So students try to use as many dice of the dice they rolled as they can, arranging them into the the best combination that moves them furthest along the board.
Monza is a very accessible game design that does a wonderful job of introducing some challenging choices for little players. Add to that the ease of set up and rules explanation and you have a very strong little game that has students actively constructing and evaluating color sequences based on their current place in the game. Lastly, as an alternative use for the game, because of the simplicity of the game board Monza also makes a great framework for students to design their own tracks to use with the game. Depending on the level of the students, the class can then go on to explore the impact that the different frequency of colors and hazards on the new tracks have on the play experience.