A Pair of Math Game Reviews: tri-FACTa – Basic Arithmetic for Youngsters

ToysBulletin.com looks at two educational games from Learning Resources.

tri_FACTa___3MWe recently came across two educational games that were not only fun to play, but also reinforced basic math skills for youngsters ages 6-8 years old and up.  The game is called “tri-FACTa” and it comes in two versions, one stresses addition and subtraction, and the other multiplication and division.

Each game is packaged in a distinctive triangular sized box with a matching game board.  There are 100 numbered cards in both versions, with higher numbers in the multiplication/division version ranging from 1-100, and lower numbers in the addition/subtraction version ranging from 0-20.  Both versions also include several wild cards that can be used as any number, along with 4 trays to conceal the numbered cards from the other players.

Each game begins with players drawing 6 of the numbered cards at random and placing them face up on the ledge of their tray.  The remaining cards are turned face down and serve as a draw pile for the remainder of the game.  The game board is placed in the center of the table, so that it is within reach of all players.  The board for both games consists of three triangular slots, each slot designed to hold multiple numbered cards.  Cards can be played over the top of existing cards.

tri_FACTa___2APlayers alternate turns trying to place 2 or 3 of their numbered cards into any of the three triangular slots on the game board according to the rules explained below:

In the addition/subtraction version of the game, numbered cards placed in the bottom two slots must add up to the value of the numbered card in the top slot.  For example, if there is a 2 and a 3 in the bottom slots, there must be a 5 in the top slot.  It is also follows that either of the numbered cards in the bottom slots can be subtracted from the numbered card in the top slot to equal the other bottom number (5-2=3).

Similarly, in the multiplication/division version of the game, numbered cards placed in the bottom two slots must be multiplied times each other to equal the value of the numbered card in the top slot.  For example if there is a 6 and a 7 in the bottom slots, there must be a 42 in the top slot.  And from a division point of view, either of the numbered cards in the bottom slots can be divided into the numbered card in the top slot to reveal the other bottom number (42/6=7).

tri_FACTa___1AIf a player cannot make a play during his turn, he draws another numbered card from the draw pile, and if he still cannot play, he passes to the next player.  Players may also benefit from wild cards that may be used as any number.  The first player to play all of the cards from their tray wins the game.

The games can be played in 15 minutes or so, although the multiplication/division version sometimes took longer, because there was only one numbered card for many of the numbers in the game.  We also did get a bit confused at first trying to distinguish a 6 from a 9 in both versions of the game.  However, if the numbered cards are placed in the tray so that the backs of the card are right side up, the numbers can be identified very easily.

“tri-FACTa” is a solid educational game intended for young kids who have either just mastered or were still learning basic math skills.  It would be great for a classroom setting or for in home use as well.  “tri-FACTa” is suggested for 2-4 players and each version retails for $19.99.  Check out both the Addition/Subtraction version and Multiplication/Division version at Amazon.com.

— RJ Cullen

Posted in Games








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