Number Chase is a fast, accessible game for younger players that mixes math language with some basic deductive skills. The game is made up of 50 double-sided cards that are numbered on one side from one to fifty. The cards are arranged in an array on the table in five rows of ten (one to ten, eleven to twenty... etc.). Once all of the cards are on the table, one player secretly picks a number from the array. For the rest of the round, the other students try to work out the secret number, taking turns picking a number.
While the first pick of the round will be random, the remaining number picks will be informed by a growing base of information that helps the students narrow down the possible options. Featured on the back side of each card is a question that is posed to the player with the secret number. The questions are framed to provide the rest of the students with more information about the possible identity of the secret number. So, as an example, they will have to answer if the number is greater than 25, in the range of 12 to 34, is a two digit number or contains a five. So for each unsuccessful pick, that numbered card is flipped over and the question on the back side is answered by the player with the secret number. As the game progresses, the number of possible picks narrows based on the answers given until one of the players correctly picks the secret number. A new round is started with another student picking the secret number and play continues until one student has correctly guessed three numbers.
There is so much content packed into such a short and accessible package, that Number Chase exemplifies what a game with a high Return on Investment looks like. While the short play time makes the game a good choice for centers activity, the game can also be used as a whole class experience in several ways. The game can be set up like normal and played with the whole class or the numbered array can easily be recreated digitally and projected for the class using Powerpoint, Smart Board software or some other similar product. The teacher can use the cards to provide the clues for the students after they unsuccessfully pick a card from the available ones on the display.
Lastly, one last benefit of the game is the ability to scale the difficulty down for younger or struggling players. Normally all of the cards stay on the table during the round. To provide some scaffolding for players, when a clue removes some numbers, those cards can be taken off of the table making it easier for students to visually discern the remaining possible choices. This is a great example of how, with some very minor modifications, game can become wonderful classroom learning tools