“SwissSkills Mission Future” put to the test

On the way “to Mars” as a family

TV off, smartphones away: the L. family is about to play the first part of the “SwissSkills Mission Future” – and is in for a few surprises.

“Monopoly,” “The Settlers of Catan” and “Istanbul.” These are the names of the board games that members of the L. family regularly take out of the cupboard if they’re feeling bored. They all have something in common: if you want to win, you have to increase your wealth – and you have to do so faster than the other players.

What is the family’s reaction to the “SwissSkills Mission Future” box they have been asked to test? The first part of the Mission Future trilogy consists of “Mission Mars.” Like other well-known game classics, “Mission Mars” allows you to immerse yourself in fantastic worlds, solve puzzles and try your luck. But this time, the aim is not to accumulate external wealth, but to discover inner wealth: the players gain a better understanding of different strengths and learn to evaluate them as they encounter specific challenges. What’s more, they are not competing against each other, but are required to work together – just like in other trendy, collaborative games.

Easier than you think

The attractively designed card set quickly sparks the curiosity of Jemima (13) and Lucas (16) as well as their parents Nelly and Stephan – but for different reasons. Jemima likes to experiment with online personality tests. Lucas has a passion for science fiction. Their parents would like to raise their children’s awareness about their choice of future career. So everyone is quite happy to familiarize themselves with the rules of the games in the new box. All the more so since they prove easy to understand.

In the game, the family of four forms a team of astronauts who must tackle the challenges of space. Ten missions await the crew members. In each round, they must draw a total of three strength cards from the deck and assign them to each other. Then they must decide which duo is best suited to the current task. If the commander sends the same two astronauts out to compete as those designated by the cosmonauts themselves, the dream team gains advantages in the upcoming dice challenge.

Empathic – what does that mean?

Even the first strength cards prompt discussions between Jemima, Lucas and Nelly. “What does ‘emphatic’ mean? What does ‘abstract’ mean?” Jemima wants to know. “But there are missing strengths that would apply to me as well,” Lucas complains confidently. Nevertheless, the crew does a good job. In the first round, it immediately succeeds in correctly filling both positions for the complicated mission.

The first dice task is tricky: throw six dice once, then put the numbers together to get as close as possible to 33 from your calculation. Lucas (strength: “analytical”) is extremely enthusiastic about this kind of mental exercise. And immediately manages a precision landing! “It’s much more exciting than the dice cup classic Yahtzee because it takes brains as well as luck,” says Mother Nelly, who likes to try out new games. “But some tasks are quite demanding,” Jemima objects.

More educational than Monopoly

It’s not always easy for the players to assign strengths in the other rounds either. And not everyone is satisfied with the jobs they have been given. “Why should I, of all people, do the cleaning and security work in the spaceship?” Nelly complains. But after ten rounds, the rocket reaches Mars. “The 50 minutes were well spent,” is the unanimous opinion of the crew members. The game caused many aha moments and sometimes overheating brains. Jemima now knows what emphatic means – and feels reassured about her personality, because she was also given the strength of “compassionate.” Lucas concludes: “We had as much fun as when playing Monopoly, but we learned a lot more!”

Mission Me: from table to smartphone

Board games are in vogue, as are online games. The “SwissSkills Mission Future” box bridges the gap between these two worlds. The first stage, “Mission Mars,” ensures fun moments of play at the family table. The second stage, “Mission Me,” begins online with an individual strength test for participants to take.

Tricksters don’t stand a chance because the questions are based on visual patterns. The result is a word cloud of individual strengths. “I knew I was conscientious,” says Jemima: “I found that out when I did another personality profile.” Her brother Lucas proves to be the analytical type, while mother Nelly is better at planning – which comes as no surprise to either of them.

Only father Stephan (“strategic”) remains somewhat disappointed: why is he neither “imaginative” nor “emphatic”? It’s a good thing that the second step of “Mission Me” leads to systematic discussions around a new playing field. What are the family’s strengths? Who has similar strengths? Which are each person’s favorite strengths? The other family members are sympathetic and award the bonus strength of “creative” to dad in the last round.

The family is now looking forward to the future with excitement. The third stage, “Mission Career,” is a serious matter. SwissSkills provides digital tips on how to use your strengths in everyday life. This is a task that will probably remain with you for the rest of your life – even once you have reached a decision about your future career.

Are you interested in “SwissSkills Mission Future”? You will find further information and ordering options here.