Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Xeko - 2 Player Trading Card Game - MISSION: Madagascar

Xeko - 2 Player Trading Card Game - MISSION: Madagascar

Fall 2006 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Matter Group, LLC
Price: $19.95
Played along the lines of other popular collectible card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic The Gathering, this two-player trading-card game's objective is to create the strongest, most balanced environment, or Xeko-system, in the environmentally endangered island of Madagascar. Players link “species cards” with other species cards, and battle other players in turf wars to win cards. When one of the decks is depleted, each player counts the eco points on his cards and the one with the most wins.

Besides learning about the complex nature of threatened environments, what's nicely educational about this game is that each species card illustrates an actual endangered creature from Madagascar, from pigmy leaf chameleons to the nearly extinct hairy-eared dwarf lemur. The more endangered the animal, the rarer that card and the higher its point value.

The game includes two card decks, a game mat, a rule book and a play guide for easy start-ups. Players can buy $4 booster packs separately for trading with Xeko-hooked friends and to build their deck's power to gain an advantage over opponents.

The caveat is that trading card games aren't for everyone. But for kids who enjoy them, the bonus here is the educational factor focusing on endangered flora and fauna. Plus, true to its mission, Xeko cards are made from 100-percent recycled materials and a portion of its sales are donated to conservation programs.

Don Oldenburg   ©2006 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Matter Group, LLC
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