Review: Number Pirates – pair of fingers on every hand


To which number do you think pirates can count? One, two, three? But no! A good pirate must be able to count at least up to ten, because he must be able to divide the booty well. And if you have not heard of it yet, there is a pirate arithmetic school.

And we’re going to do it now thanks to the new game, or Zahlen Piraten (original german name). This is a new box. Underneath, pairs of designers and are signed and have collaborated with illustrator . The tin box is wearing a stamp with the edition and includes cards with numbers, equations, a two-piece tile, a six-sided die and a Zoraya pirate figure.

There are four games in the rules, that are growing in difficulty. However, all are purely for two opponents, who sit against each other and compare their numeracy skills. The simplest game is called Number duel. But this is a classic War, where children have their own set of numbers from one to ten. Players at the same time reveal top card from their shuffled deck and higher of two value takes everything.


This game is fast, but you do not need this box for similar entertainment. The game is notoriously known and can be played with any set of cards. Fight is of course very random and the length of the game is hard to predict. So if you should buy a box for this game, then we would not recommend it to you.

Fortunately, there are other variants coming in the box. The second in the series is called „Counting“, in which children divide up the numeric cards in front of them. A numbered plan is placed at the center of the table. Starting player rolls a die and can turn the card, that matches that number. But the cube has only six sides so the other values can only be reached by addition. Player can risk it all, throw die multiple times, and put all the dots together. However, it must not exceed the total of ten at any moment, otherwise he can not turn any card.

Here the children experience some exciting entertainment. He must be smart in the risk of being the first to turn all the cards down numerically. To do this, all the values have to be incremented. This is not about perception or tactics, but players need to have a good bit of luck. Here, however, the five-year-old kids will really appreciate the game and at the same time they will start to learn the numbers all the way to ten.


The third variant is Pirate Destinations, for which they will only need one set of numbers from one to ten. Their shuffled deck will still lie in the middle of the table. A game board with a scale from one to ten is used and pirate figure should be placed in its starting position.

The player on the turn reveals top card of the deck. Depending on the revealed value, the pirate Zoraja figurine moves toward the active player. His move may end or the player may continue with the next roll. The figurine may go back to the player again, but only if it does not exceed ten in motion. In that case, the player lost the round. The winner is the one who is able to get nearest to the edge.

This time, there is some tactic in the game. Initially, you do not know the order of the cards in the deck, but the numbers are disappearing and the player is able to deduce numbers, that are missing in the deck. Thanks to this, children learn to think tactically and how to predict. So the game has a very positive effect and it is the best entertainment that Number Pirates has provided so far.


In the last card game Variation (previous Quick at Calculating is just a training for this game), the player simultaneously solve equation and both try to reveal the hand with the correct answer as first. If he succeeds, he will get the equation card for himself. Game ends when cards run out and the one who has the most, becomes the winner of the game.

Incorporating perceptual play into the offer of these math tasks is a good choice. The overall experience is for children greatly improved by this. It will only show, how well the tutor has taught.

Duels of two opponents are always very fast, including the last variant. All this corresponds to the emphasis on the age of children, which has been recommended already from five years up. These children will surely appreciate the game, just like their parents.


Individual games differ well and their difficulty gradually increases. Kids are growing up with counting and Number Pirates is doing very well with this mathematical way.

DesignerWolfgang Dirscherl
ArtistGuido Hoffmann
Year Published2009
# of Players2 - 4
Playing Time15
Mfg Suggested Ages6 and up
CategoryCard Game, Children's Game, Educational, Math, Pirates
Primary NameRechen-Piraten: Das Kartenspiel
Alternate NamesNumber Pirates: The card game, Piratas aritméticos: El juego de cartas, Les Pirates Mathématiciens: Le jeu de cartes, I pirati del conto: Il gioco di carte, Rekenpiraten: Het kaartspel

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Number Pirates – pair of fingers on every hand
Final word
Number Pirates is a collection of five games that are not original at all. But this is not the main point this time, because this small box, especially in children, teaches numbers and counting. There are only numbers up to ten, so it is designed for the youngest. Game gradually grows with them, although the overall interest in the game is not improved by some original ideas. Number Pirates is a good digit training for the smallest players.
Reader Rating0 Votes
five games in one package
metal box
game variability
greatly teaches children the numbers
originality is completely missing
generic topic
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