|Play Time:||About 15 minutes|
|Our Recommended Age:||6+ (With help or if your child knows addition and subtraction)|
You are a secret agent and you have to be the first to reach the mask of Amun Ra, but in order to get it you have to crack all the codes along the way using math skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or any combo of the 4) to get past the lasers! Secret Code 13+4 by HABA both educational and really fun!
I never would have thought a math game would be a favorite for my son. I mean he likes math well enough but usually if he knows a game is educational he sort of is against it…possibly due to homeschooling where I take everything fun and turn it into learning…oops
The game is recommended for ages 8 and up but my Gentleman who just turned 7 in October can do addition and subtraction well enough to play. His friend Chica knew addition and subtraction and some basic multiplication and Chico knew all four options for math. They were all fairly evenly matched considering…He even wanted to learn multiplication because of this game!
All the materials are good quality. The board is made out of standard game board material that folds nicely and the artwork is is perfect for the game and theme. The dice are wooden which is ok but what I like about those is the numbers on them are etched in…or carved maybe? Either way they are NOT stickers which is great…stickers tend to peel or fade but these are good quality dice.
Each pawn is also wood and it appears as though each character is a sticker on it but more like a decal as I can see how to get it off…not that I would or anything. The tiles are made out of what I believe is chipboard…that cardboard that isn’t and printed on both sides with various numbers and laser beams!
No matter which side you choose the lasers will line up so that is awesome and makes the game change each time you play. My Diva is just now learning addition so she can’t play this really but I suppose you could have younger kids roll until they get dice that make up that number. So if it was 15 they would have to roll a 1 and a 5 in the same roll or something. I haven’t tried that yet so I’ll focus on how to play normally.
Be the first to break the code barrier for 20 and get to the mask of Amun Re!
Put the game board where everyone can reach it then shuffle the number tiles. Put the tiles on the squares on the board where their spaces are. It doesn’t matter which side and should be random anyway. Each player chooses a color or agent and puts it on the starting area at the entrance to the museum.
The game tells you that whoever can recite the 7 times table the quickest gets to go first but when you are playing with varying skill levels you should roll the die or let youngest go first. We rolled to see who went first but we usually do.
The game goes clockwise and all six dice are given to the player who gets to go first. Roll all six dice and first you will want to see if any of the dice you rolled matches the number on the barrier in front of you. If the barrier number is 5 and you roll a 5 you pass that barrier.
If it is higher like 11 you will have to add, subtract, multiply or divide or do any combination of those in order to get to the number 11 in order to pass. Once you have passed take the dice you used to pass that barrier to the next player. Only pass those dice that were used because your turn is NOT over yet.
You get to roll again to see if you can pass the next barrier. In fact keep doing that until you cannot pass a barrier or you run out of dice. Every player plays in the same way and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t.
The Gentlman and the Chica did pretty well considering they lacked all four of the abilities but that is the beauty of this game. It may take you more dice to just add or subtract but you CAN pass barriers. Sometimes the path is split and the agent can choose which path to take. Usually they choose the path they can pass the easiest…which is smart.
You can be on the same spot as any other agent but remember that each die can only be used ONCE. Try to use as few dice as possible so you can make your turn take longer and get through more barriers. Sometimes this is not possible but it is still good to try.
When one player cracks the 20 barrier the game is not over yet. The round has to be finished and if any other agents reach the vault they share the treasure. There can be more than one (done in my best not so good highlander voice) winner.
The instructions have a couple game variations which we are going to try soon (and the adults have tried). Every time you crack a code the tile gets flipped over instead of removed. You will have crack both in order to proceed…like all good secret agents.
You can roll the dice only once but can calculate as many codes as possible without re-rolling and each die only once…that is harder…a lot harder. The game ends when you reached the mask and have gone back to the entrance! They make you get out with it! I like it though.
Secret Code 13+4 is a super fun and educational game that is now a family game night favorite…well the Diva “helps” one of the adults but she likes it and is loving math more and more because of it. This game will help your kids want to learn more multiplication or division or in the Diva’s case addition and subtraction. How can that be a bad thing?!
If you are looking for a new family game night game, a way to supplement math or a game to use for homeschooling (we use this for that too!) then Secret Code 13+4 is a perfect choice.Show us your secret agent code breaking skills! @MyGeeklings @haba_usa