Reviewed by David Savage
During our time of self-isolation, staying at home and home schooling during the current worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we have been playing games that educate whilst relieving boredom. Education is extremely important, probably more so during this time as formal teaching is suspended.
We have been trying out some fun board games and science kits and wanted to move on to English and Maths games. We really enjoyed the word game Think Words, which is an excellent game to help with vocabulary, but also wanted something to help with maths. Ideal’s 7ate9 from John Adams looked like it would do just the job, apparently it is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
7ate9 is a family game for 2-4 players, aged 8 years plus. In the box is:
- Storage Egg
- 73 Number Playing Cards
Setting up the game is very easy. All you have to do is remove the cards from the plastic storage egg and give them a shuffle. After shuffling the cards, place the top card face up in the centre on the table and deal the remaining card face down equally between the players. Each player places their cards in a stack, their draw pile. You are now ready to play.
Playing is simple, although it will take a few rounds to fully understand the rules. One player shouts “GO” and players can start to draw a card from their draw pile to form a hand. There is no limit to how many cards you can hold in a hand. Each player then has to try and lay a card that equals the value of the card in the centre of the table. This is not a turn taking game, players play simultaneously laying a card as soon as they can find a match and then calling out the large yellow number on the card. Once a player has one card left they can play it face down on top of the pile regardless of the number on the pile for the win.
Each card has a large yellow number on the face with a smaller number in the corner (green is ±1, blue is ±2 and red is ±3).
7ate9 is a number crunching game which requires players to get rid of all their cards as quick as they can using mental arithmetic. Fast and fun, you have to use your maths skills to lay a card down that equals the value of the previous card, this is achieved by adding or subtracting 1, 2 or 3! For example, if a 7 is played with a ±2 in the corner the answer will be either 5 or 9 (7-2=5 / 7+2=9). This means a player can lay a card with a large yellow 5 or 9 on the face.
Sometimes the value of the card might be greater than 10 or less than 1 (9+3=12) / (1-2=-1) so another rule comes into play called “Playing Around the Corner”. In the case of a value greater than 10, 9+3=12, you simply subtract 10. This gives an answer of 2 so you would lay a card with a large yellow 2 on it. In the case of a minus value, 1-2=-1, you add 10 to give you an answer of 9 (-1+10=9), so you would lay down a card with a large yellow 9 on it.
Overall, 7ate9 is a fast and fun family game once the rules of play have been grasped and we really enjoyed playing it. Each game has approximately 10 minutes playing time and can be quite frantic at times.
Whilst it is a family game, it is a definitely a game for children that are confident in their maths skills. In our case with a 10 and 8 year old varying in their maths ability, we thought that more confident of the two would have a slight advantage, but wasn’t necessarily the case. It isn’t just about who is the quickest at adding and subtracting. Each player also has to have a card that they can play and they have to find it in their hand. As new cards are being playing all the time, the value you are looking for is constantly changing. It is a game of fast maths skills as well as fast eye and hand speed as well as observation skills, all done under pressure.
The plastic egg is eggs-cellent for storing the cards after play has finished and makes it an ideal travel game as well (not that we can travel anywhere at the moment).
This is a fantastic game to practice basic maths skills whilst having quality family time, having fun and relieving the boredom of self-isolation.
Fast, frantic, frenetic fun that improves maths skills, quick thinking and competitiveness.
Available to buy from Amazon here.