The marvellous trunk of the mammoth! And the Mammoth Maths! Picture the days of old, as these majestic creatures stomped across the land carrying mathematical equations on the tips of their trunks… what a sight to behold! Ok well obviously that never happened, but to budding young mathematicians it’s a recipe for success in this offering from Orchard Toys.
As a parent to 4 homeschooled children I’m no stranger to Orchard Toys. These bright and simple educational games are a staple resource for countless families, be it English, Maths or Shapes and Colours.
Now I have to say that for some of our kids… they are not enamoured with Math at all. Despite our best efforts, it will never be their favourite subject. It’s not that they aren’t capable, it just doesn’t interest them! So when we received our copy of Mammoth Maths we were pleased to add it to our repertoire of ‘Maths can be fun’ resources. So how does it hold up?
For starters, like most offerings from Orchard Toys, this is a nice bright and visually engaging game. It’s a proven fact, kids love the prehistoric theme! 3D Mammoths and a lenticular ‘magic torch’ viewer? Keep talking…
The aim of the game is nice and simple for younger ones. Roll the dice and land on a plus or minus square and it’s time to work out the answer to a maths question. Getting the answer to the question right will mean you can add a token to your mammoths trunk. Land on a feather, however, and you can tickle an opponents trunk making them sneeze and lose a sum. The maths problems come on ‘stone rings’ that have the answer obscured (hence the magic torch viewer) and are drawn at random. The ‘bone’ line is a nice addition (no pun intended) that will help younger children with working out their sums. Another nice feature of this release is that it contains two levels of difficulty so that the older spectrum of players will still be challenged.
Now, as was inevitable with this kind of game, it’s entirely possible for youngsters to fly through these stone ring sums and it runs the risk of becoming more a game of ‘memory’ then actual maths problem solving. Although, Orchard Toys don’t tend to do expansion packs (and the very idea of it seems kind of amusing), it would be nice to see additional stone rings available for purchase so that players can try out new sums and not just rely on past experience with certain equations. The range of sums is nice and provides a good mix between easier and more challenging questions.
But, at the end of the day, that is the only real nit that can be picked here. It’s a really charming little game and it certainly will capture the attention of your little ones. Orchard Toys excels at creating fun and educational resources that draw kids towards a learning experience without them even knowing about it. The components are a good and strong quality and the magic torch viewer will definitely fascinate younger gamers!
It’s safe to say that Mammoth Maths won’t set the world on fire. There isn’t much that is original here beyond the visuals and aspects of the implementation but then that really isn’t the Modus operandi of Orchard Toys. It’s an excellent resource for parents and a good slice of fun for the little ones so really you have nothing to lose!