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Subject: Number Chase - A Light Review (Children's Game) rss

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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.


Game Type - Card Game (Children's)
Play Time : 10-15 minutes
Number of Players: 2-5 (Best 3+)
Mechanics - Deduction
Difficulty - Pick-up & Play (Learn in under 10 minutes)
Components - Excellent (Thick card stock to withstand many plays and young children)

Number Chase consists of nothing more than 50 cards of above average thickness, which is great when playing with the little ones. Each card has a number on its back, not surprisingly they are in the range of 1-50 also. The front of each card features a question that is based on a number fact. These questions are what drive the game but more on that later.

The game is set-up by laying the cards out in 5 rows, so each row shows the numbers 1-10, 2-20, 3-30, 4-40 and 5-50. A player is selected to start first (in the interest of following this review lets call that player the active player) and they must choose a number without telling anyone.

The aim of the game is for the other players to be the first to guess what number the active player selected. If a person’s guess is correct, they get to keep that card and each card is worth 1 point. That person then becomes the new active player and the other player’s must try to guess the new number that they select (from those left on the table).

The first player to win 3 cards (points) is the winner.

Of course it is highly unlikely that the initial guesses will be correct and this is where the card questions come in. When a guess is incorrect the player making the guess must flip the card they chose and read the question printed there to the active player. The active player must answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in relation to their secret number. In this way the player’s begin to gather information that can help them make more informed guesses and rule out certain cards by a process of elimination!

Once a number is correctly identified and taken, all of the other cards are turned face down again before a new round begins.

Let’s look at the type of card questions on offer -

Is the number in the range of xxx – These questions can help eliminate an entire row of numbers (1-10) or a set of 10 numbers (24-34).

Is there an ‘x’ in the number – These questions focus on a particular numeral and can help eliminate entire columns and also focus the players on other numbers that feature a numeral like the 4 in 40.

Is it a ‘one’ digit number – A useful question and the opposite is also featured in ‘two’ digit number.

Is it an Odd number – Again the opposite question is featured.

Is the number 'greater than xx' is featured. Of course the opposite in 'less than' is also present.

Some of the questions are duplicated but the majority feature unique number values or ranges making them different from each other.

The Final Word

If I am being honest there is really nothing new here in Number Chase. It is essentially the game '20 Questions' with a maths theme and it is presented in card form. Teachers have played variations of this game in class for years, but it is played orally.

But this does not make Number Chase a bad game and I think it is perfect for what it aims to deliver - a game for children. The learning that can be gained here for the development of number facts alone is fantastic. Build onto that the deduction skills required and strategy in how a player should best select their numbers and Number Chase stacks up as a ‘no brainer’ for any family with little children and schools.

I often find that Publisher’s are off the mark when they recommend an age suggestion but Playroom get it right here. 6+ is the perfect age to start playing Number Chase as they have already got a year of school under their belt (in Australia anyway) and are ready to further explore numbers. I taught this game to my 9-10 year old students last week and it was ideal for my lower ability students.

I’d recommend this game for the 6-9 year old age group and lower functioning students.

Educational Benefits

I’m going to start adding this new section to my reviews for games that are obviously meant to be educational in nature. Hopefully they will be of help to parents and fellow educators.

d10-1 Development of number facts up to 50

d10-2 Categorising numbers as Odd or Even

d10-3 Identifying numbers as belonging to a given range

d10-4 Exploring numbers that are 'greater than' or 'less than' a given value

d10-5 Recognising that numbers form patterns (1-10, 2-20 etc) (The values in each row end in the same unit)

d10-6 Seeing numbers presented in the form of Arrays (An array is a pattern made up of rows and columns).

d10-7 Deduction and Elimination – These skills go beyond mathematics and into many facets of everyday life.

d10-8 Developing a student's familiarity with the language of maths and maths terms.

d10-9 Counting - When teaching I will often ask a student how many numbers they were able to eliminate with the last question they asked. They will often start out by counting them individually, but with practice they begin to skip count or use their knowledge of the decimal system to count.
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