Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TOS Review - Fractazmic - fraction fun



Could this statement indeed be true?

It is a well known fact that you can't believe everything you read. So for now the above statement will be treated as suspicious until proven true. And really, WHO will believe a wooden figure anyway?

With any thorough investigation we need to first examine all the evidence. What do we have in front of us?

Exhibit A

Deck of 60 cards - 20 green, 20 blue, 20 red

Green cards appear to be the tenths suit. 
Blue cards appear to be the twelfths suit.
Red cards appear to be the sixteenths suit.

Exhibit A

Although the package states this is for 'Grades 1st-8th and the cards seem to be sturdy, are brightly colored and have interesting pictures on them, there is no conclusive evidence that this is fun. Statement still remains suspicious.

Exhibit B

One Rule sheet

Exhibit B
Having read Exhibit B it suggests that you play the game in the manner you play the well known card game "Rummy". It also offers more options of how to play by referring the investigator to a website: www.fractazmic.com

Exhibit C

No investigation is thorough without a trip to the source (the aforementioned [web] site). There we uncovered another set of rules which is included in a downloadable document [direct link (quite slow)] of 28 pages written by the mastermind behind this suspicious operation, Dr. Ron. The document explains the rules for many different games created by this organization including something called Pyramath™ and Prime Bomb™. You can read an investigation report about Pyramath™ (read previous review) HERE

Having read all these rules it became clear that we can't come to any clear conclusions without doing interviews and engaging in the activity of actually playing at least one hand ourselves. There is thus no conclusive evidence that this statement is either true or false. 

So on to the interviews:

Interview one:

PI: Have you played Fractazmic™ before?
L: No.
A: No.

PI: Did you follow the rules the first time you played it?
L: No

PI: So what did you do instead?
L: We looked at all the cards to get to know how it works first. 
A: Mum explained how to play the games and then we played with one color only.
L: Yes, that was ok, but we wanted to play the real game.

PI: Did it help to look at the cards first?
A: Yes, but it was more fun to play the game.

PI: How easy was it to play the game?
A: It was kind of easy for me, but a little bit hard too.
L: Yes, it was a little tricky at first but now it is lots of fun!

PI: Now, I need you to be very certain about your next answer. Is this a fun game in your opinion?
L: Oh yes!
A: Very!

PI: Would you play it again?
L: YAH! We have! We played different ways too. And Dad played with us. That was fun!
A: Yes, it's even more fun when Dad plays too.

PI: So you think it is fun and easy to play? Do you think you learn anything?
L: Yes, we learn about fractions and how to figure out that 2/5THS are the same as 4/10THS.
A: And 1/4 is the same as 3/12.

PI: Is it a game you'll be able to play all day long?
L: Hmm. I don't think so. It kinda makes me feel a bit tired after a while. And I like Trap better than Rummy.
A: Yes, my brain gets full. I also prefer to play Trap.

Interview two:

PI: You've played the game with your family?
Dad: Yes I have.

PI: What do you think of it?
Dad: It's a good game, but it takes up quite a bit of energy because you need to concentrate and calculate throughout the game. I've noticed that the kids got tired if they played for long periods.

PI: Do you think that this is a fun game despite the concentration it takes?
Dad: Yes, I do. I enjoyed it and the kids certainly did too. 

Based on the above interviews is seems that a reasonable conclusion can be drawn about the statement under question: Statement is most likely true.

Personal experience:

First I stopped by the source again. Here I found an online version of the game called Fractazmic™ Speed where you can win a FREE deck of cards! This was suspicious because why would they give away several decks of cards? (unless they believe that enough people will buy their product @ US$6.96).

I played the online game (DISCLAIMER: no I did not win a free deck, although for the purpose of this investigation I was given a free deck by the company to provide this report) and I played it again and again and again ....

I also played the game with the other investigators on the case (my 11 and 8 year olds). I did enjoy (still do) playing the different versions of the game. The game Fractazmic™ Trap is the easier game to play as all the players build the same hand by taking turns to discard a card from their hand and adding it to the cards on the table. The aim is to add the same suit until the fractions add up to 1. If you add your card and it makes 1 you 'trap' that hand and gain 1 point. If  the card you play takes the total over 1 then you forfeit that 'hand' to the previous player. 

If you are the kind of person who would rather watch a movie than read a book (or in this case rules on paper) you can follow these links HERE (Fratazmic™ Rummy) and HERE (Fractazmic Trap) to see a video clip explaining how the games are played.

Conclusion: Taking all the above mentioned evidence into account I can only come to one conclusion: The Statement "FRACTIONS ARE NOW FUN!" is true and accurate.

As the TOS investigation bureau wants to be thorough in their investigation of this statement several other investigators were asked to investigate and write their reports - you can find these HERE.

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