By Patch

Reviewed for Middle School, 2009

Farkle

Once in a while someone comes up with a game that is so profoundly simple that it requires only a few low-tech pieces, and yet is so fun that kids return to it time after time. Farkle is just that sort of game. Small and inexpensive, its main features are six dice, a goofy, heavy duty plastic cup, and a sheet of instructions. Players roll the dice, and results are worth a varying number of points in the hundreds and thousands; if certain numbers don’t appear, a turn is declared “Farkle” and ends. The game works multi-digit addition and multiplication skills, and because kids can choose to keep their score or roll again, it's a great way to pick up basic principles of probability. A fight to the finish, full of risk taking, with some great math practice lurking under the radar. (Patch, $9.27)