February 2008

Numbers League

Numbers League is a clever card offering from Rochester’s Bent Castle Workshop. Up to four players participate in this quirky superhero themed game of build and capture. The game’s 20-30 minute play time makes it an easy fit into a class period. And while the initial game incorporates elementary mathematics, the Infinity Level Expansion takes the skill level up to a middle school math.

In the center of the gaming area are various villains, each assigned a numerical value ranging from single digit negatives to around fifty. Players work to capture them by building superheroes from cards in their hands. Cards represent heads, bodies and legs of differing numerical quantities. Their body part’s combined value is used to match and thereby capture villains. So, a hero with a 3 head, -1 body and 2 legs could capture a villain with a value of 4. (more…)


Games engage students with authentic leisure experiences while reinforcing a variety of social, literary and curricular skills. When an educational concept is introduced and reinforced during a game, it is internalized as part of an enjoyable experience and further utilized as one aspect of a strategy to attain success.

Games also carry other benefits. They help students connect and build social skills, working as part of a team or negotiating the most advantageous situation for themselves. It also provides an opportunity for students to to explore a host of life skills not inherent in the curriculum , but important for success. Some of these include: micro-managing resources and options; actively re-evaluating, re-prioritizing and re-adjusting goals based on uncertain and shifting situations; determining acceptable losses in an effort to obtain an end goal; and employing analytical and critical skills to more authentic social experiences.

Here is a list of NYS standards currently supported by a well established school game library: (more…)

I love game mechanics. Beneath the tokens, fancy art work, bits and boards lies a game that, if the mechanics are bad, can not be saved by any amount of flair (Even if it does willingly exceed the fifteen recommended pieces). Lord of the Rings by the famed mechanic mastermind Reiner Knizia combines flair with mechanics and tops it all off with a dose of cooperative play.

In Lord of the Rings, you and your fellow hobbits set off from the Shire and work together in a desperate attempt to try to reach the Mordor and destroy the ring. Along the way you will occasionally receive aid for your quest but that does not come often. Soon you will find yourself in a desperate struggle to survive, low on resources and hoping against hope you can make it to the top of the mountain and destroy the ring. (more…)