Friday, July 17, 2015

Prime Climb

What a wonderful game I was given to review! The first time we pulled it out of the box my math tolerating kids didn't want to play, but after watching the first game, they were begging for us to do another round with them. There was enough chance that the "math brains" didn't win automatically which is often rare in math games.

Prime Climb has a really cool board where prime numbers higher than 10 are red and all other numbers are a combination if the primes that make them up. For example, 21 is purple for 7 and green for 3; 30 is blue for 5, green for 3, and orange for 2; 60 has two orange segments. You roll the dice and then add, subtract, multiply, or divide as you try to get to 101. The red primes let you draw a prime card with special instructions. They even include 4 blank cards so you can add to the deck.
 Prime Climb BoardWith the color coded board even my younger boys who haven't learned multiplication were able to play with only a little help (and were quickly picking up concepts of multiplication.)

As a homeschooling mom, I am always looking for ways to incorporate learning though games. Prime Climb is an excellent way to teach about prime numbers, factors, common multiples, and that math is fun! The kids practiced multiplication, division, addition, subtraction skills, while using logic to determine the best combination of moves. In addition to analyzing their own options, they would evaluate each other's rolls and options to see what options the other player had and if it would affect them. The multiplication chart was a great bonus and it was awesome to see their eyes light up when they "got it" and the color markings all clicked. The prime cards were great bonuses for landing on primes and they started memorizing the higher primes quickly.

 I loved how Prime Climb engaged my math loving kids and my kids who tolerate math. It was engaging and challenging enough that no one was bored, but easy enough to understand that no one was frustrated. It was the perfect balance. (It was fun for the adults as well.)  It was fun watching the kids puzzle out every different option to decide where to move and listen to them talk through their choices. I liked how they figured out the math on other people's rolls and usually helped if the other person needed it-- or gave away accidentally that they could be bumped back to start. My kids said Prime Climb is like advanced Sorry with the flexibility of Uno to add rules. The blank Prime Climb cards were great to get them brainstorming options to add. Instead of writing something on those cards, they decided to number them 1 through 4 and at the beginning of each game they write out a rule for each number.

My "math geek" son was laughing so hard during one group game that he had tears running down his face as he suggested combinations to people that would make them bump themselves back to start. He's also played it solitaire style, created several different options for the blank bonus cards, and tried most of the additional versions listed in the instructions. I love all the different options and combinations!

You can buy the game through Amazon or purchase a printable pdf version here. You can also also buy posters of the multiplication table and hundreds chart. The game board is very sturdy and well made and includes 2 ten sided dice.

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