Signs of the Sojourner is a game where the player uses cards as a way to progress through the story. In the game, you are a character whose mother has just passed away. Your mother was part of a caravan that traveled all over the land, bringing back interesting items to sell in your family shop. Now that she’s gone you and your friend will be running the shop. This means that you must go join the same caravan to venture out into the world, bring back items to sell, and maybe learn more about the person your mother was.
Unlike other games which use the card mechanic for battle sequences, Signs of the Sojourner uses its cards to create conversations between the player and other characters. The types of cards you play directly affect how the conversation progresses. Each area in the game has a set of cards that represent how the characters from that area speak to one another. This is represented by symbols on the right and left hand side of the card. For example, when you are leaving home, your cards feature an orange circle and a green triangle. These allow you to communicate fairly easily with the people in your town and those in the caravan who travel with you.
However, once you begin to branch out to further away towns, the player may find that the way the residents speak does not align with the cards they have in their deck. They will need to find ways to communicate while grappling with the fact that they are changing themselves. After each conversation, the player has the opportunity to take a card from the conversation, thereby allowing for the player to learn other ways of communicating. However, when one card is picked up, it means another card must be dropped from the player’s current deck. This means that the player needs to be strategic about how they are switching out cards.
Signs of the Sojourner is rated E10+ due to mild language, mild violence, and some alcohol and tobacco references. LearningWorks believes that every parent should take their individual child into consideration when deciding what types of games to purchase for their family. To learn more about the ESRB rating system and how to use it effectively, click here.
Self-Awareness: Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Because this game uses cards to mimic how conversations in real life progress, the player can learn a lot about self-awareness while they are playing. The player can see how different tactics can make a conversation go smoothly while others can stop a conversation dead in its tracks or just leaves both parties feeling unheard. For players who struggle with self-awareness, playing through this game with a trusted adult who can help debrief how the gameplay went afterwards can help practice this skill and allow the player to see how real-life conversations can have the same give and take qualities represented by the card system within the game.
Planning: Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
The player has a set number of cards that they can use in order to move through a conversation. The player needs to look at what the other character has played, look at their own hand, and then plan out how the rest of the conversation will flow. The player might not have any matching symbols but can plan to use other strategic cards that allow for workarounds, such as Accord, which copies the card previously played. For people who struggle with planning, they may find themselves not able to move through conversations as easily. The game is not timed, so players should take their time and make careful decisions when choosing and playing their conversation cards in order to ensure the best outcome.
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