“Sunya” means “empty” in Sanskrit, and this game from the brand new company Sunya Publishing puts a little bit of fun into learning and studying the math facts. We received a full set of Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing for the purpose of review. I was interested to see what this math game was all about because the information on the website was kind of meager, but I knew that it sounded like something that would help my two middle kids better learn their math facts. I have one student that is dyslexic and struggles with just outright memorizing of facts like that, so any little bit of review and supplementation is good for him. We especially like games, though!
There are several ways to play this math game, but my kids enjoyed the simplest format the most. This product is still in development, and the rule booklet that you see pictured here needs some work. I think it’s way too wordy for such a simple game, when really this math game is quite simple – and fun! It works like this:
- There are two stacks of cards; one has numbers and one has facts. The facts stack is almost not needed for this setup. The numbers set also has the multiplication, division, and equality signs so we needed to take those out.
- Then, we passed out 4 cards to each player. Usually we have about 3 players.
- The kids picked which operation to use – you only use one or the other, not both in the same game. They laid out the operation card and the equals card on the table with space between. The cards in your hand are the numbers, and you lay them around the operation sign to make a true statement.
- The first person draws a card so that they have 5 cards, and they try to make a true statement. They keep drawing cards until they can put down a true math fact with their cards. This math game only reviews math facts up to 9×9 to keep it simple, so double digit numbers aren’t allowed as factors (only answers).
- The next person then draws a card and uses what was placed on the table before to make their own true math fact statement. They can use part of what’s in play already, or not – if they have the cards. Just lay your new cards on top of the old ones. (Or you can replace the old ones with the new ones and then create a discard pile so that you don’t end up with big messy stacks in the play field. Either way.)
- So, if the first player finally – after drawing cards to get it – ends up being able to play 3 x 4 = 12
- Then the next player might change it to 3 x 6 = 18. All they would need to do is to put their 6 card on top of the 4, and an 8 on top of the digit 2 in the 12 of the product.
- The winner is the first person to run out of cards. They have to say “SUNYA!” to claim their win, because if someone catches them before the cards are gathered up, then the game’s not over! They have to draw new cards and the game continues. Otherwise, the winner should read one of the math/science facts from the other deck. (Honestly, we just skipped that because it seemed a silly add-on to the game itself.)
Now, you can get more complicated than that, but in general that’s the way you play. I think the rules book needs to be super simplified to reflect this basic game play and then it would be easy to understand the exceptions. Some exceptions include that 1 and -0- cannot be factors; we discovered why during our first game. If -0- is a factor then everyone just keeps adding onto the one pile and you aren’t really getting in any math facts!
With my three boys, and remembering that I have one who works super slowly and needed help almost every time, it has been taking about an hour to play out a hand. At first it was frustrating for him, but we just took to the exception that if a player needs help they can lay out their hand and other players can suggest a true sentence. We just had everyone do that every time, so it wasn’t as frustrating for my one kid who really needs the practice, and game play went much smoother after that.
All in all we are enjoying this game. I think it’s a little bit simple and wish that the science fact cards were incorporated more fully into the game somehow, and I do think that the rules can be very simplified for better understanding. The rule book also contains information on playing with the 1’s and 0’s included, a Solitaire game, and a couple of versions for team play which would be great with a younger kid. Sunya Publishing also offers an Addition and Subtraction math game, but I think this one would easily be converted into those problems and am not quite sure why they have two different games.
BUT… the rest of the Crew might have some insight on that! Some of us received the multiply/divide and some of us the add/subtract, so please do check out the other Crew reviews! We will be keeping an eye on this publisher for where to purchase these games soon!