Domatics is a game published by Parent Choice Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be playing domino like tiles from their pool as they try to score points. The player that scores closest to the target number at the end of the game will be declared the winner.
To begin, all the tiles are shuffled up together like in a regular game of dominoes. Each player then pulls out from 8-12 tiles. If you’re using the multiplication and division tiles, you will pull 12 tiles. If not, then each player pulls out 8. The first player rolls the numbered dice. This determines the target number that the players will be trying to reach to win the game. If a ? is rolled, the number will be determined at the end of the game. Play now begins.
This game plays a lot like Dominoes, following most of the same rules. Starting the game is done just like in Dominoes, a certain type of tile must be played to start. In this case, it’s what is called a spinner. These spinner tiles have a + 0 on them. If the first player doesn’t have one of the 3 spinner tiles, they lose 10 points and play passes to the next player. If they don’t have one, they lose 10 points too. This continues until someone is able to play a spinner. Once the spinner is played, the next player in order can then play on either end of the spinner to make a math equation, just like in dominoes. The player must then call out the correct answer to the math equation they have just played. Those points are then added to the player’s score. If a player mistakenly calls out the wrong answer, they must roll the +/- dice. If the die lands on a +, the correct answer gets added to their score. If it lands on a -, the correct answer is subtracted from their score. If it lands on 0, then the player neither adds or subtracts any points. If a player calls out the wrong answer more than 3 times, they are automatically disqualified for the remainder of the game.
The game also has 2 special tiles called lock tiles and unlock tiles. These tiles have the word lock or unlock written on them. Lock tiles prevent other players from playing on that end of the tiles, unless they have an unlock tile. An unlock tile allows the player to continue playing from that end. If both ends of the tiles are locked and a player doesn’t have an unlock tile, that player loses their turn and play passes to the next player. Play keeps passing around players until either the game is completely locked or one player plays all the tiles from their hand. Scoring then takes place.
Scoring the game is done in a couple of different ways. If the game ended by all the tiles being locked up, then each player will add up the numbers on their remaining tiles. They then roll the +/- dice to determine if those points are either added to or subtracted from their score. If the game ended with a player playing all their tiles, then every other player must add up their remaining tiles. Just like in a locked up game, those players will roll the +/- dice to see if the points are added or if they count against them. Each player then compares their totals to the target number. The player that scored closest to the number is the winner. In the event of a tie, the player whose number is lower than the target number wins.
This game is designed like Dominoes so the components are much the same. The game comes in a long metal tin that is a bit difficult to store but holds everything inside really well. The tiles are wooden like and have numbers on them. They are well made and are very sturdy. There are also several wooden racks for holding your tiles so you can see them, kind of like a Scrabble rack. The game comes with 2 different dice, a number dice and a +/- dice. These are very solidly made and are very nice. Everything looks really nice and like I’ve said, reminds me a lot of Dominoes.
9 out of 10
The rulebook for this is a single double sided sheet of paper. It is in black and white with a few pictures of the components. It is very easy to read and understand and everything is explained really well. I realize that there’s not really much to learn or understand about this game, but it saddens me to see a lack luster looking rulebook. I’d really have preferred something nicer and in color, but I didn’t get it. Still, it gets the job done and once you’ve read it, you won’t need to refer to it again. I mean, who doesn’t remember how to play Dominoes? No need for rules.
7 out of 10
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is an educational game. With that in mind, I had to really look at it in a bit of a different light than most of my reviews. First off was the game educational and did it teach anything. The answer is yes. It is very good and conveying conceptual math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It’s designed for ages 8 and up and I’d definitely say that there needs to be some prerequisite math skills learned before attempting this. However, if your child is having difficulties then this might be one to help them understand things a bit better and in a fun way. The next thing I had to look at was is the game any fun. Again, the answer is yes. I deal with numbers all day in my real life job, but even I have difficulties with some of the more complex skills like multiplication and division. It takes me a minute sometimes to come up with the answer, so this was educational for me as well. I mean, it wasn’t that hard, but it does it’s job that’ s for sure. The last thing is do my kids like it. Not really, but then again, my son hates math. It seems to be the one thing that he has the most difficulty with. So I’ll say this. It might not have been something he enjoys, but it beats sitting at a desk with a math book and a pencil. At least he’s getting to play a game. That in my book is a win.
8 out of 10
Domatics is an educational game that teaches math skills in a Domino style way. Like any normal game of Dominoes, this is not a very long game, unless you or your kids have some real difficulties with math. That said, the game is a really interesting game that does what it sets out to do, educate. It’s mildly fun to be an educational game. Most of the times educational games are super boring, not only for the kids but for me as a parent especially. This wasn’t really that bad. I don’t expect to start a Domatics tournament with my gaming group any time soon, don’t think the guys would be up for it, still the game is ok. It will definitely help with the math skills, that’s for sure and do it in a fun way. My kids might not be that interested in it, but as we are homeschoolers, I’m sure that we will still use it as a fun way of teaching math. It might even get them to liking math after awhile. Is this a game for everyone, probably not, but if your kids are struggling with math then it might just be. I’d recommend it to parents of kids at least older than 8. Any younger than that and you’re probably just wasting your time. Give it a try and help your kids learn math in a fun way.
8 out of 10
For more information about this game, please check out Parent Choice Games at their site.