Today I want to talk to you about spatial reasoning. So that’s tessellation, joining things together, this is a skill that we use in real life when we’re putting things together, when we’re tidying up, putting things away, trying to pack a car to go on holiday.
So games that use spatial reasoning, one of my favorites, is Number Nine.
Now Number Nine essentially you get a box with the number characters from 0 through to 9 in them and you get a set of cards. Each round a card gets drawn, and each player draws the number of that card and all the numbers are very angular and square, and so they’ll stick together in certain ways and interlock.
Now the thing with Number Nine is any of your numbers that are directly on the table don’t score you any points at the end of the game. So what you need to do is build it up. But you can’t build it up unless you’ve got enough of a base to put it on, because you can’t have your number on a level above only with one number, it has to cover two other numbers.
So you have to do quite a lot of thinking about what you’re doing, but also planning about where some future numbers might go, as well.
Have you got room for that number four there?
And number seven’s are a little bit wiggly so they can be a bit awkward to fit in.
But it’s really really great for special reasoning, tessellation, spatial awareness.
Other games that use shapes and kind of spatial awareness in their theme include Bear And Park, it’s a bit like Bear Tetris this one. So you’ve got different types of bears that live in different shaped enclosures and you have your park tile. You’re covering up icons on the park tiles to gain different types of bears for your park.
You need to figure out what kind of pieces, do I want to cover up?
Then which shape do I want to get?
Because the longer you wait to take your shapes, the fewer points they’re worth.
Bear And Park, Number Nine, Patchwork, Patchwork Doodle, are all made or designed by Uwe Rosenberg and have elements of special awareness in these games.
Say with Patchwork, you’re making a patchwork quilt, there’s cottage garden and these have all got these different sorts of shapes, that all tessellate really nicely together. Feast for Odin, while it has lots of other things going on as well, also has this covering up a board with different shapes, getting things to fit together in certain ways, and it can be really really satisfying when you do get these things to work out really well.