MATH GAMES REVIEW
Excellent, suspenseful game that requires memory, luck, and a bit of math.
Mfr. Recommended Age: 6 Years+ (typical retail $10)
Total score: 70.5 points
Fun quotient: Excellent (86 points)
Math factor: Average (55 points)
Types of math:
Add single-digit #s
Identify relative # size
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Littlest players want to peek!
Have the lowest total score at the end of the game.
The Quick & Dirty on Game Play
Each player begins with four cards face down in front of them. The players are all allowed to look at two of their cards and then must remember the point value of those cards. On your turn, either take a card from the draw pile or take the face-up card on the top of the discard pile. Replace one of your cards with the new card or (if you took a card from the draw pile) discard it.
In addition to the number cards, there are three power cards: Peek (allows the player to peek at one of their cards), Swap (allows the player to swap one of their own cards with another player's), and Draw 2 (allows the player to draw one or two more cards).
The game ends when a player takes a turn then knocks on the table and calls out "rat-a-tat cat." Each of the other players gets one final turn. The players then turn over their cards. The player with the lowest point value wins the round.
The element of surprise plays a big role in Rat-a-Tat Cat. Not knowing which cards you have adds suspense to the game, and it's exciting each time a player reveals a card they haven't seen before (although no one likes accidentally giving up a great card!). If the players have good poker faces (some of our littlest testers struggled on that front), it's interesting to try to guess who has a good hand.
The art is funny, and the power cards spice things up a bit.
Very little. There's not a lot of variety to the play, but it's a quick, engaging game.
The Math Factor
Rat-a-Tat Cat requires players to:
Add single-digit numbers
Identify relative number sizes
The players compare relative number sizes nearly every turn, as they either select a card from the draw pile or discard pile and decide whether to replace one of their own cards with the new one.
There is addition at the end of each round as the players total the point values of their cards. There is also mental addition throughout the game as the players try to track their ongoing point totals.
Rat-a-Tat Cat is a stand-out game. Play is fun, with an engaging concept, a nice memory component, and a little bit of suspense. The math is consistent and basic.