Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sunya Publishing ~ Math Card Game (Review)

Like most homeschool moms, I like to add some spice and fun to our school days, particularly in the "grammar" years, so when I have the opportunity to review a game, I generally jump at the chance. We've been playing Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing, one of two new games (not yet available to the public) offered to the TOS Review Crew this spring (the other is Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting) by... Sunya Publishing.

While both games/manuals are different, it would appear that they are very similar in format. The manual we received included the directions for the game, and 2 sets of cards. The first set includes numerals 0-9, X, - , and =. The basic concept is to use the cards in the players hand to try to "write" a number sentence. If the player doesn't have the correct digits required to make a sentence, they draw one card at a time until they do. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner. Sunya!

The second set of cards are the "fun" cards used as the "Reward" for the winner. The winner chooses one card, and reads the Math/Science riddle or interesting fact card to the other players. If it is a riddle, the players may try to solve it together,  and if it is a fact card, the winning player may quiz the other players to see if they know the answer(s).

The manual is... interesting... the directions are rather convoluted and turn what is (or should be) a fairly simple game into a rather complex foray into rule-reading. I understand that this is a new company, and a new product. Because of that, I am willing to cut them some slack, and I would suggest that the instructions be revamped to be much less complicated...  Many parents/teachers may lose patience with the instructions before they ever give the game a chance (while being "schooled" to teach their charges to play patiently and considerately...)

There is a lengthy discussion of the Hindu roots of the word "Sunya," and Brahmi numerals which are the ancient fore-runners of our familiar Arabic numerals. My feeling about some of the instruction and information through the entire book (including some of the recommended quotes at the end of the manual) is that the authors hope that players will all "get their Zen on"  (or whatever the Hindu equivalent is) while practicing math fact sentences. While the game is a simple math game, I kind of have the same feeling I do about the current coloring craze, when it is focused on Mandalas...  give me the colors and the numbers, not the push to explore the Brahmin or the Zen...

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Personal summation: this is a fun game, but the manual isn't doing it any favors from an instructional OR philosophical point of view. 
  • Company: Sunya Publishing
  • Product: Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing
  • Ages: company says Ages 9+ , my suggestion, 7+
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