Board Game Review: Jewelies

 

LongPlay360.com

Age Rating: 7+

Players: 2-6

Timeframe: 20 minutes

MSRP: $19.99

Style: Educational Learning Game/Resource

Delve into the world of gemstone trading, buying, and selling in a clever game designed to reinforce math concepts and skills.  Give students a real hands on learning experience that will be sure to get them invested in utilizing all of the tricks and techniques they’ve learned in their classroom lessons.

Introduction

Jewelies Math Game designed by Cindy Huxel was created as a fun and unique way to reinforce Math skills and standards from ALL curriculums with students in a stock market style of game.  Jewelies was designed to be played in any learning environment and incorporates basic finance and economic concepts, as well as introducing kids to simple science and geology, gemology,  and mineralogy.

Contents

  • Velvet bag
  • 14 Market Cards
  • Score Sheets
  • 20 Sided Die
  • 24 Jewelies from 6 different types

Gameplay

Each player blindly pulls 4 random gems from the gem bag at the start of the game. They then input the number of jewelies of each type into the start column of their scoresheet and then continue on with the preparation of their scoresheet. The player will input the value of each type of jewelies onto their scorecard according to the rules.  Once they have the number and the value, they multiply and input that information into the totals section.  After the scoresheets are set up, it is finally time to begin to play.  Players roll the die to decide who goes first, the low roller gets that privilege and play continues to the left.  Players take turns drawing Market Cards and following the instructions on the card.  Each Market Card will give you a basic fact about one of the jewels and tell you whether the gem increases or decreases in value.  The Market Card may also tell you to trade Left or Right.  Players then choose one jewelie of their choice to trade in the appropriate direction.  As gameplay continues, players will record the changes in the values of their gem collection FOR EACH TURN on their scorecard, performing the math as they go along.

Family Gaming Assessment

We’ve briefly discussed the differences between a learning resource and a ‘true’ game in various podcasts and articles.  Learning resources tend to be utilized as classroom, homework, or daycare tools to teach kids certain skills or reinforce skills already learned.  While they often and incorporate some game like elements, the pure and simple FUN of the game is often the minor focus and the skill or learning is the major focus.  This game definitely falls into the learning resource category.  It is a great little tool to help your child show off their common core math skills and their abilities to add and subtract and multiply.

As a game, Jewelies was a bit disappointing.  We loved the little facts, tidbits and bits of information on the Market Cards.  We loved the idea of the Market Cards- we just wish they DID more game like things.  The Jewelies were fun to hold and manipulate, but overall the game did not hold our interest beyond a homework aid.  The school aged players were much quicker at solving the basic math involved in the game than our older players who weren’t as quick to group and partner and were relying on long form math.  We found that our older players wanted scrap paper, and our younger players were much more capable of completing the math in their head.

As a classroom, homework, or daycare resource we think that this is a great way to make learning more engaging.  It certainly helped to reinforce learned skills, it was fun to manipulate the components, and it was an interesting way of presenting information about economics, negotiation, trade and finance.

While we wouldn’t pick this up as a game to play on our family game night, this is definitely a great resource to have on hand in a classroom.  It is also a great tool to have at home to help a child who might be struggling with Math and need a more engaging way to practice.

All of our players found it a bit difficult to understand and keep track of the information on the scoresheet we had.  The longplay360.com website states that they reconfigured the rules sheet and that the newere one is a little easier to follow.  The upgrade is free for this much needed change.

Conclusion

Overall, we were very excited about the concept of this game, but it seemed to fall short of the mark.  We would definitely recommend this to any elementary school teacher to have on hand in their classroom, but this was not compelling enough to bring to a non educational game table. There was so much potential with the Marketplace and the cool components, but there were not many interesting or creative things to do with these ideas.  Please don’t hesitate to consider this if you are a teacher,

FCC disclosure: A copy of this game was sent to us by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

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