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Sumology Review by Jennifer Harrison

SimplyFun LLC
11245 SE 6th Street, Suite 110
Bellevue, WA 98004

My boys have always taken a little extra time to learn their basic math facts. With addition and again with multiplication, their usual math books just weren't enough. Worksheets didn't cut it either. We paused both times, for several months, and spent some focused time on learning math facts with games and activities instead of with books. It took some time, but it was very effective. Both of my sons needed this break, and they both now excel in math. One of our favorite ways to reinforce math skills was to play math games.

Though they have now mastered their basic math skills, we still enjoy math games to keep those skills fresh and to just enjoy time together. Sumology is a recent game we tried that was a fun challenge for all of us.

Sumology is similar to Scrabble, but it uses numbers and symbols that let you build equations instead of words. It's simple yet brilliant. The quality is absolutely top-notch. The tiles are made of thick, smooth wood and are color-coded and painted. The game is attractive and sturdy and stores in a wooden box.

While simple in execution, it is certainly not a boring game. Sumology is definitely challenging to play. SimplyFun recommends the game for ages 8 and up, and I definitely agree. We attempted the game with my 1st and 2nd grade students, and it was much too challenging for them to enjoy without a lot of help from mom and dad. Honestly, it was challenging for older kids and adults, too! The box suggests 2-6 players, but we found it easier with fewer players. We even modified a few rules to make things easier. An average game takes about 30 minutes to play.

Sumology covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and quality family fun. The pieces could also be used outside of the game for extra math practice. Kinesthetic learners might enjoy using the tiles to work through math problems rather than using worksheets. A math website,, has a post dedicated to ideas for the game tiles. Given the challenge level of the game and the quality of the pieces, the asking price of $40 doesn't seem as steep as it might sound.

Product review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2011