A few weeks ago I was very kindly sent a copy of the game Prime Climb by @mathforlove to have a bit of a play with. Some of you may have heard of it through their Kickstarter campaign last year. It had been sat on my desk for a week or two and I finally unboxed it at our Peterborough Maths Jam in September (mail me if you are interested in coming to the next one).
On unboxing, the thing that impressed me the most was it’s build quality. It has a solid board with bright, vivid colours and has a real premium feel. You get 8 pieces and 2 dice numbered 0 to 9; a Pentagonal trapezohedron in case you were wondering. There is also a deck of 24 prime cards, which again, feel of very good quality. It is clear that no corners were cut in the production of this game.
If I’m honest, it took a few reads of the rules for us to understand exactly how to play (we had a new member of the Jam, Laura, who did a great job of organising us) but once we’d sussed it, keeping track of the game was a breeze. In a nutshell, the aim of the game is to get your two pieces to the centre circle labelled 101. You roll two dice on your go and assign one number to each of your pieces on the board. You can choose to add, subtract, multiply or divide the number on your dice each time to move yourself around the board. If you land on a circle occupied by another player, they get sent back to the start. If you land on a prime number, you get to draw a prime card which will (usually) aid you in some way. The game ends when a player gets BOTH their pieces to the 101.
Overall we found the game a lot of fun as it had a great mix of skill and luck which means it would appeal to people of all ages and mathematical abilities. I imagine it would be a great game to have in a primary school classroom as it gives the opportunity to develop mental arithmetic and improve intuition when working with numbers. I would also recommend anyone who goes to a Maths Jam to give it a try!
At time of writing, Prime Climb does not have a UK supplier and can only be ordered via amazon.com, but I understand this is being worked on so will update when there is more news.