So-Soo-Yoo

By Jay Dearin
www.teruen.com

PO Box 9546
Moscow, ID 83843

So-Soo-Yoo is a math board game that was created by a parent to help his child learn multiplication tables without having to memorize fact lists. The board is a colorful vinyl mat that can be rolled up for storage. In addition to the board, the game comes with 6 player pieces, a 20-sided die, a 10-sided die, a 6-sided die, and several small rings in six different colors.

The game board is marked with the numbers 1 through 199. Prime numbers are in circles, while composite numbers are in squares. Each of the composite numbers has two (or more) prime numbers connected to it in small circles. The number 60, for example, has the numbers 2, 2, 3, and 5 stuck to it in small bubbles.

After the board is set up, players begin moving around the board. Players can move by sliding (this is moving either forward or backward one space), by jumping (moving the piece "to the next closest number that has one of the same bubbles as the space you are on"), or by warping (this is similar to jumping, but you move to the next closest space that has two or more of the same bubbles as the space you're on). Players are required to say the numbers for each space they land on, so if a player landed on the 60 square, they would say "2 times 2 times 3 times 5 equals 60". The goal for winning the game is to collect 6 rings--either one of each color or all the same color.

I played this game with my 10, 9, 7, and 6-year-old sons. The rules for this game are a quite difficult to sort out, but once they are understood game play is fairly easy--I think. I'm still not completely sure we're playing it correctly. My 10-year-old and I didn't really enjoy the game, but my 9, 7, and 6-year-old sons did. Game play takes quite a while; the last game we played took 45 minutes, and none of us had more than two rings. I wouldn't mind investing that much time in a game if I felt my children were learning from it, but I didn't notice my boys picking up on any of the number relationships. Another downside is that the game is "hand-made from craft store materials, including spray paint. No guarantee is made as to the non-toxicity of materials used." I appreciate the time and effort that was taken to create So-Soo-Yoo, but I must admit this disclaimer made me a bit nervous. Because of these issues (confusing rules, length of game play, and the failure to guarantee non-toxic materials), I just don't see my family playing this game very often. I cannot recommend it.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2010