Air Land Sea is a fast, two-player game with numbers. It's fun for kids or grownups. I originally came up with ALS when someone at work said they were looking for a game to help their kid with multiplication. When I came up with this game, my daughter was too young to play it, so I invented spaceship (a simple variant of ALS).
Air Land Sea sheet (you can use a blank sheet of paper, or copy the GIF above)
a die (any number of sides, but I like 12-siders for teaching multiplication)
Win two out of three battles (air, land, and sea).
How to Play
One player is left and the other is right.
The first player rolls a die and writes the resulting number in any space, including spaces on the other players's side (but not in a box).
Now the other player rolls the die and writes in the result, and play passes back and forth.
Put high numbers on your own side and low numbers on the other player's.
When both spaces in a player's battle area have been filled, multiply those numbers together and put the product in the corresponding box.
When all 12 spaces (and all 6 product boxes) are full, the player with the higher score in two battles is the winner.
It's possible to tie.
Once the game is in progress, there are many opportunities to get a kid to use multiplication to solve tactical questions. For instance, once three numbers have been entered into a battle and there's only one empty space left, ask the child how big a number has to go in a space for that side to win the battle, or how low a number needs to be put in the same space for that side to lose.
With a younger kid, you can play ALS with addition instead of multiplication. Here's a game sheet that uses addition.
When I was at RopeCon, I called this game World Domination because that's a cooler name.
For a really young kid, spaceship is an even simpler game based on the Air Land Sea principle (roll a die and assign it to either player).
August 2001, April 2005