Friday, April 13, 2007

Totally Tut

Subject: Math
Category: Arithmetic
Ages: 6 and up
# of players: 2 to 4
Time to play: 30 minutes
Mechanics/Game Type: tile placement

Ratings (1 to 5)

Educational Value: 5
Gaming value: 3
Aesthetic value: 4
Price value: 4
Ease of play: 5
Younger adaptability: 1

My comments: Totally Tut is reminiscent of Scrabble in that you pick tiles of numbers that sit in a tray in front of you and you put them on the board to form equations. What is different is that each player randomly picks an answer tile that goes at the top of his/her pyramid, and then you use the tiles to make a 4-number, 3-number, and 2 number equation for the answer on your pyramid.

This game is better for kids that pretty much know their facts and you are trying to reinforce them, or to use in place of a drill sheet. When played with just the +/- tiles, the game is pretty simple and moves right along. When you add in multiplication/division, then the possibilities of creating equations with the desired answer becomes large and the game moves much more slowly. The game is intuitively modifiable to be able to play with just multiplication/division to practice those skills if so desired. the game includes a spinner at the center of the board to add a bit of unpredictability to the game: draw a number, steal a number, trade a number, or no new number.

The board is well-made and very colorful with fun cartoon graphics. The trays are thick folded cardboard that could be a little better made, and have such a low angle that it is hard to keep tiles concealed from other players. The "red" (per instructions) level 2 answer triangles are actually an orange that's just a shade darker than the basic answer tiles; the "pink" (per instructions) tiles are actually purple. The tile sets all came in their own sealing plastic bag, which is a nice touch!

If you are an adult that likes working with numbers in much the same way as Scrabble players do with letters, then your family will not grow out of this game. (You might want to check out the game Equate as well!) link to this game:

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