If you have taken a look at the blog, you will have seen that there are many other articles talking about board games and their benefits. But this one is very, very special, since in it I am going to present you ** AltaMar , our first self-created board game** .

Yes, yes, you read it right: a game made by us.

Devised and created by the Aprendiendo Matemáticas team, with the participation of close people in both the illustration and the design and layout, and manufactured 100% by a Spanish company.

You may be wondering how we decided to embark on this adventure. Well, it was at the beginning of 2021, when we were thinking about how we could celebrate our **tenth anniversary** (on July 28, 2011 I published the first article on the website, and that was almost 11 years ago!).

Among many other proposals, the idea arose of making a board game that children could enjoy while learning mathematics. And we got to work on it.

I’m not going to lie to you, getting here has been something like an obstacle course, but finally… *AltaMar* is now a reality!

## 3 games in 1

*AltaMar* is a game about pirates who sail the seas in search of treasures.

From the first moment we started thinking about the game, one of our main concerns was that boys and girls of all ages could play with it.

I have to admit that it has not been an easy task (we even considered the possibility of making three different games), but finally I think we have achieved it. Inside the *AltaMar* box you will find the necessary elements to play 3 different games:

, for boys and girls from 4 years old*The Shark*, with three versions of increasing difficulty:*The Pirates*- the
*Grumete***version**, for children between 6 and 8 years old *Pirate***and**versions*Captain***,**for children from 8 years old

- the
, for players from 10 years old*AltaMar*

In *El Tiburón* , the goal of the little ones is to fill a bag with 10 coins. Coins can be won (added to the bag) or lost (removed from the bag) one at a time. In this way, boys and girls consolidate the **notion of quantity** and **counting from 1 to 10** , and intuitively approach the **concepts of addition and subtraction** . It is a cooperative game, in which boys and girls play “against the shark.”

In *Los Piratas* and *AltaMar* , the player who gets the most loot, that is, the most money, wins. In this case, coins and bags can be gained or lost, and it is continually necessary to exchange coins for bags and bags for chests, or vice versa. In this way, players become familiar with the **decimal system** , consolidate the **equivalences between units** (coins), **tens** (sacks) and **hundreds** (chests) and work on **numerical composition and decomposition** and **mental calculation** .

Thanks to these different versions, *AltaMar* is a game:

**family-friendly**, since adults and older siblings can also have fun playing the versions for the little ones**for the classroom**, because the increasing difficulty of each of the versions allows it to be adapted to different ages and knowledge**that you make the most of,**because you can leave it on your games shelf and enjoy it for a lifetime 🙂

Without further ado, I’m going to show you what *AltaMar* is like inside.

## Game components

The main components of the game are:

- the
**tiles**, which are placed on the table to configure a different*board*in each game mode and in each game - the
**pieces**(ships), which indicate the tile on which each player is located - the
**dice**: some to move through the tiles and others to determine the amount of money that is won or lost - money
**(coins, sacks and chests)**and**precious stones**, which make up the players’ loot **action cards**, tool**cards,**and**island cards**- the
**sack board**and the**round counter**

In each game ( *El Tiburón* , *Los Piratas* and *AltaMar)* different elements are used.

In addition, the game contains very detailed **instructions** , with a large number of examples and illustrations and a summary diagram for each version of the game. At the end, there is a section of didactic guidelines.

Now yes: I’ll tell you briefly what each of the games consists of. At the end of the post I will leave you a link with detailed instructions and tutorial videos.

## The shark

### From 4 years

The Shark is a cooperative game, in which all participants collaborate to achieve a **common goal:** fill the bag with gold coins before the shark appears.

### Game preparation

Take all of the tiles in this version (indicated by a black dot on the back) and place them face down forming a 6 x 6 grid. Adjacent to any of the frame tiles, place a port tile, which will be the starting point, and a ship token is placed on it.

The sack board and the ten large coins are left on the table, within reach of all players.

### How to play

On their turn, each player picks up a tile, adjacent to the last tile lifted, places the ship token on it, and performs the corresponding action.

There are four types of **tiles** :

- Of
**water**: nothing happens - By
**boat**: he wins a coin, which he places in the bag - From the
**island**: he loses a coin, which he removes from the bag and returns to the reserve - Shark : remove the tile from the
**grid**

### End of the game

In the game there are four shark tiles that, together, form the image of this animal. The game ends when the bag is filled with gold coins (the players win) or when the four shark tiles are uncovered (the shark wins).

## The Pirates

### From 6-8 years

In *Los Piratas* , players try to get as much money as possible.

The game has three versions, in order of difficulty: *Cabin Boy* , *Pirate* and *Captain. *

### Game preparation

The tiles from this version are taken and arranged radially (one radius per player) starting from the Three Palm Islands tile, which is placed in the center. Each player places their ship token at the beginning of their journey and receives the money indicated depending on the version.

The rest of the money is left on the table, within reach of all players.

In the *Pirate* version , action cards and tool cards are placed on the table. In the *Captain* version , 3 action cards are dealt to each player and the tool cards are left on the table.

### How to play

On their turn, each player advances or retreats as indicated by the dice and performs the action corresponding to the tile they are on.

There are four types of **tiles** :

- Of
**water**: nothing happens - From
**Port**:- can pay 1 coin to reroll (
*Grumete*version ) - can acquire a
**tool card**(*Pirate*and*Captain*versions )

- can pay 1 coin to reroll (
- From
**island**:- roll the dice and win money (
*Grumete*version ) - You can bury money, allowing you to keep it safe and, in some cases, increase its value, or dig up another player’s money (
*Pirate*and*Captain*versions )

- roll the dice and win money (
- By
**boat**: roll the dice and win or lose money

The amount of money that is won or lost on each occasion is determined by two **10-sided ****dice** (only one in the *Grumete* version ), which correspond to units (from 0 to 9) and tens (from 00 to 90). .

In the *Pirate* and *Captain* versions , it is played with action cards and tool cards.

### action cards

**Action cards** are associated with ship tiles. Some of them are played before throwing the dice and others after:

**Cabin Boy**and**Mutiny**: lose all the coins or all the sacks, respectively, and do not roll the dice**Pirate**: choose another player, who will pay you (or whoever you pay) the money indicated on the dice**Ship**: The dice result is applied to all players on a Ship tile.**Change the sign of the dice**and**Multiply by two**: the effect of these cards is applied to the result of the dice

### Tool cards

**Tool cards** can be acquired from the port tile ( *Pirate* and *Captain* versions ) and allow you to perform some special actions:

**Sable**: avoid loss of money**Shovel**: dig up money buried by another player**Key**: open one of your chests and exchange it for ten bags

### End of the game

When one of the players reaches the central tile, the game is over. The player who has collected the most loot wins.

## High seas

### From 10 years

### Game preparation

The tiles of this version are taken and arranged forming a 7 x 7 grid, in the center of which the Three Palm Islands tile is placed and in each of the corners a port tile. Each player places their ship token in the corresponding port and receives two chests and a gemstone.

The rest of the money and precious stones are left on the table, within reach of all players.

The action cards and tool cards are mixed and 3 are dealt to each player. The rest are left on the table, face down. Each player is also dealt 8 island cards, which will be used to indicate the money buried in the island tiles.

### How to play

On their turn, each player performs the following actions:

- move the tiles (optional) according to established rules
- roll the dice and move forward
- perform the action indicated on the tile and play (optional) an action card or a tool card
- change coins and bags

In addition to the tiles used in the *Los Piratas* game , *AltaMar* includes some **special tiles** :

- Wave :
**rotates**90º clockwise or counterclockwise - Treasure : roll
**the**dice and win money - Storm ,
**kraken**or**ghost island**: they have a negative effect when a player lands on it or on an adjacent tile**.**

When a player lands on a **port** tile they get a precious stone (a different stone in each port).

A new tool card is also used, the **helm** , which allows you to bypass the negative effects of storm, kraken, or ghost island tiles.

### End of the game

When one of the players, after having obtained the four precious stones, reaches the central tile, the game is over. The player with the most loot wins.

## Mathematical aspects worked on in the game

As I said at the beginning, *AltaMar* is, above all, a pirate game. And, like any good game, it should fundamentally help children (and adults) have fun playing.

But *AltaMar* is also a game with great mathematical content, in which children must solve situations that will allow them to reinforce or consolidate certain mathematical concepts and skills:

- Notion of quantity and counting of numbers up to 10

- Decimal system:
- units, tens and hundreds
- numerical composition and decomposition
- equivalences and changes

- Concept of addition and subtraction

- Addition and subtraction of quantities up to three figures

- Multiplication of quantities of up to three figures by 2 and by 3

- Mental calculation

- Assessment of the possible benefit of an action versus the necessary investment, taking into account the probabilities of obtaining said benefit

- Orientation and spatial structuring

## How can you purchase the game

AltaMar is only available in our online store, because it is a self-created game, you will not find it in any other store 🙂

The first edition of the game sold out in 6 days! We are now preparing a second edition. If you don’t want to run out, buy it before Sunday, June 5 at 11:59 p.m. and receive it free of shipping costs as soon as it is ready.