Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

TREKS: The Game of Compass Directions

TREKS is designed to be challenging, educational, and enjoyable. Like a good walk outdoors, it is full of variety. You can change the game to make the play simpler or add rules to make it more complex. And, as each game progresses, your strategy for winning can change!

The goal of the game is to be the first player to move all five of your pieces ("treksters") from your own home row into the opponent’s home row across the board.

After each move, you must announce the direction and the number of spaces moved by each trekster. For example, "I moved this trekster four spaces east and this trekster one to the south." If you forget to make this announcement, your opponent may call out your omission and undo your move!

Included with the kit are print/braille overlays and pieces to use for varying the basic game. They are:

  • an overlay with the four cardinal directions labeled and another with only a north arrow.
  • an overlay with numbered and named streets. With this game variation, you are required to name the starting and ending intersection for each move rather than the compass direction, as in "Moving from Third and Bay to Third and Fox" or "Moving from Second and Hart to Seventh and Hart."
  • an overlay with the cardinal compass directions at the four corners rather than on the sides of the square. By keeping the movement rules the same, you force all moves to be in secondary compass directions with this overlay. For example, if the north arrow is placed in the upper left corner of the board (from your vantage point), moving a trekster straight ahead is a move to the northeast; moving to the left is a move northwest; and so on.
  • buttons that serve as barriers to navigate around.
  • two blank overlays (one that is open in the middle, one with two intersecting bands inside) to which you can add braille stickers to represent street names, street numbers, blocks, landmarks, lines of latitude/longitude, and so on.

Treks is suitable for ages 8 and up. Along with the pieces mentioned above, the kit includes a game board, “treksters” that are tactually and visually contrasting, a rules and variations booklet in large print and braille, and a set of tactile dice.

Catalog Number: 1-08910-00
Click this link to purchase TREKS: The Game of Compass Directions.

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