MATH GAMES REVIEW
Engaging concept, heaps of math practice; minor design fixes would help with play.
MSRP: $24.99 (typical retail $18)
Mfr. Recommended Age: 6 Years+
Total score: 79.5 points
Fun quotient: Good (74 points)
Math factor: Excellent (85 points)
Types of math:
Add double-digit #s
Subtract double-digit #s
Add single-digit #s
Subtract single-digit #s
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Solid math practice
Minor design flaws
Transport both your aliens from their spaceship to the Cyta flower.
The Quick & Dirty on Game Play
On your turn, roll the 10-sided die, subtract that number from 50, and move one of your aliens to the corresponding cloud (for example, if you roll an 8, you would move one of your aliens to cloud 42). Continue subtracting your way down the clouds until you get to the Cyta flower (or land in the Sprongi zone, at which point you try to "bounce" / add your way back up to the Cyta flower).
There are a number of special spaces, including rain clouds, lightning clouds, safe clouds, and dark clouds, each of which have their own rules. There are also special instructions for if you land on the same space as another player.
Cloud Hoppers has an engaging outer space-themed backstory and invites the players to name their aliens (we wound up with "Zaku," "Zookie," and a couple pieces named after Rescue Bots).
The special spaces on the board keep the game lively. The rain clouds help the players advance toward the Cyta flower, but they can get zapped (and sent back to their spaceship) by a lightning cloud.
Cloud Hoppers has a cool concept behind it, but once the players close in on the Cyta flower, it can get a bit tiresome waiting for one of the aliens to actually land on the flower.
The artwork is cute, but the alien pieces often disconnect from their bases when you move them. The alien pieces also often block the number of the clouds / Sprongi they land on, making it difficult for other players to strategize their next move without picking up aliens to see the number underneath.
The Math Factor
Cloud Hoppers requires players to:
Subtract single- and double-digit numbers (subtract numbers ranging from 0 to 9 from numbers ranging from 21 to 50)
Add single- and double-digit numbers (add numbers ranging from 0 to 9 to numbers ranging from 11 to 19)
Cloud Hoppers requires the players to do two addition or subtraction problems each turn (at least until they land one alien on the Cyta flower) to figure out which alien would be most advantageous to move.
Cloud Hoppers has a couple design flaws, but it has an engaging game concept and it's at the top of the math practice heap for single- and double-digit addition and subtraction.