Number Chase is a number-guessing game, involving some serious arithmetic skills (like understanding greater than and less than, odd and even, number range and properties). But you don’t have to tell the kids that. The game is so clearly fun, so gently challenging and enticing, that it just doesn’t matter to the kids that actual arithmetic skills that are being exercised. Who, besides teachers and parents, cares about all that number comparison and identification and deductive reasoning? The important thing is that the game is actually fun enough to play and play again.
Number Chase is one more Major FUN-award-winning game in Playroom Entertainment’s Bright Idea series. Designed by award-winning fun-maker Rienhard Staupe, the game consists of 50 thick cards. I emphasize “thick” because it is a testimony to the wisdom of a good game manufacturer – knowing that cards, in the passion of play, get mangled, creased, and generally yucky. By having the good sense to make the cards thick, we are gifted with a game that will last long enough for the whole family to enjoy.
There are 50 cards, numbered, as one might expect, 1-50. To play the game, the cards are placed on the table, sequentially, in 5 rows of ten. One player (let’s call her the “emcee”) writes down a “secret number” between, as advertised, 1 and 50 (all right, between 0 and 51, if you insist on literal betweeness). The guessing player or players select any card. If it just happens to be the right number, that player wins the round. If not, the card is turned over. On the other side of the card there’s a question about the number the players are trying to guess (e.g. “Is the number less than 42?”). The emcee answers yes or no. Then another number is guessed. Another card turned over. Another question revealed (“Does the number have a “5” in it?”). Etc., etc., until the correct number is finally chosen.
Everybody stays involved in the game, because every answer is relevant, even when it’s not your turn. So, everyone is having fun, everyone is thinking, deducing, exercising what he or she knows about number properties. And as the guesses become more and more educated, so do the players.
In other words, if you were trying to help educators understand the nature of a successful learning experience, Number Chase is the very game you’d want them to know about.