Each Breakout EDU kit comes with two hint cards. The hit cards are a critical element to facilitating a Breakout EDU game. We asked our community how they use the hint cards. If you put your own kit together, make sure you have some hit cards. A link to a PDF can be found at the bottom of the post.
My experience with the hint cards is that teenagers are loathe to use them, and the negotiation that comes from their presence in the game is a great study in compromise and flexibility
While the games are obviously rich with problem solving experiences, I appreciate the inclusion of the hint cards for the life-skills they encourage. Knowing when to ask for help is difficult to teach (not too soon, not too late, just the right time). Living that Goldilocks Moment in conjunction with a well-crafted game adds to the depth Breakout EDU offers.
I feel use of the hints is an integral aspect of the game for two reasons. First, the judicious use of the hints is a large part of the strategy. If you use one too early, you might pass a challenge that could have been solved. Also, by concisely recapping where the group is in the game is a terrific skill for students to learn.
Finally, there have been some games that provide a slow trickle of hints as the group gets stuck and I believe the problem with that is that every set of players has a different game. It would be like if a referee was willing to allow some rules to be broken for one set of players, but not another. By providing each game with two hints, all players begin with the same set of challenges and benefits.
As educators, we often intervene too quickly when a student in struggling. In a Breakout game, the hint cards allow the players to work up until their frustration point, but know that they can ask for help if they need it. Setting the limit to two forces the players to use them strategically. Also, making them aware that it’s possible to win the game without hint cards is always a fun challenge.