Here’s another cheap, quick, and simple game that has interesting complexities and connections to math.
This game is called Domineering. All you need are paper and a pencil. Graph paper would be a luxury.
- Set up a grid of any size. Try 3×4, 4×4, or 5×4.
- Both players place a 2×1 block on their turn
- Player 1 must place his horizontally
- Player 2 places hers vertically.
- The last player to be able to place a block wins the game.
Let’s look at a sample game on a 4×4 grid. Player 1 (blue) wins because he was the last to place a piece. Player 2 is stuck since there are no spaces left for her vertical pieces.
What’s the point? I think the purpose is to develop a strategy. Is there a way to play that helps one win? Test it out. Does it work with different sized boards? This is like developing an algorithm and has strong ties to math.
Naturally, larger boards create longer and more complex games. Try it out with your kids and let me know how they like it!