Digit’y Do: Fun With Numbers For All Ages
Digit’y Do is a simple pen-and-paper game that combines Bingo, counting, probability, and guesswork. It keeps kids and adults engaged and entertained. It takes less than five minutes to explain, so you’ll be playing in no time. Best of all, proceeds from this game go to a good cause: the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF), which provides medical grants for children across the U.S. So you can have fun and help kids at the same time!
Before the partnership with UHCCF, Digit’y Do was also known as Streams or 20 Express. It won a Parent’s Choice award in 2013, and we think it deserves more attention!
The goal of Digit’y Do is to get a high score by making groups of numbers (series) in ascending order. The bigger the series, the higher the score a player gets. The player with the biggest combined score for all their series wins the game.
To start, all players have a score sheet with 20 blank spaces. During each game, 20 number tiles are pulled from a bag, and each player decides where to write that number on the score sheet before the next tile is pulled. Play continues until all 20 tiles are pulled and the score sheets are filled. Then, all players total their score and the winner can say “Hot Digity Dog!” or some other punny phrase as they celebrate.
As tiles are pulled, players can put that new number anywhere on their score sheet where there’s a blank space. Each player decides what order to put the numbers in as the tiles are pulled, so every score sheet can be unique. The goal is to get the biggest possible series, but which tiles and what order they come out in heavily influence the results of each game.
There are 39 tiles numbered 1-30, including duplicates of tiles 11-19. There’s also one wild tile, making 40 total tiles. Knowing the tile distribution makes things both better and worse for players because they are better informed, but generally more driven by the statistics of those middle numbers. Players try to “make room” for numbers they expect to see based on what’s left in the bag, but the randomness of each game keeps things interesting.
There’s no deep strategy here, but where players choose to put their numbers drives the final scoring. Placing the current number and predicting the yet-to-be-pulled number tiles is the most important element of the game. Placing any given number where it “should” go based on a normal statistical distribution seems to make sense, until space gets tight. The biggest differences in score sheets come from players deciding what to do once they have too many numbers to fit their allocated spots.
The specific number placements on each score sheet are key because getting the single biggest series can win the game, but if all players have similar sheets, getting the most and longest series and hopefully the highest becomes more important. Dumping “bad” numbers that don’t fit in with existing series at the beginning or end of the score sheet is a one good method, but not a guarantee of success. Doing the best you can and adapting to the new numbers as they come out is the game’s constant challenge. And each game is unique, so using the same strategy every time will yield different results, making replay value high.
Feedback and Appeal
Even though Digit’y Do declares 100+ players are possible, our games were of 4 to 6 players, both with adult and kids, and it was a hit with all. The kids that played the game really enjoyed it because “it made them think, but in a good way”. Adult gameplay was interesting because the score sheets stayed nearly identical until mid-game when players started major adjustments based on the “bad” numbers.
This game can even be played like Bingo. While it’s unlikely to replace weekly entertainment for the elderly, this could easily be used in a group setting like a classroom, day care, summer camp, family reunion, or any other large gathering. It can keep a lot people engaged at once, without the need to see anything other than their own score sheet. Additional score sheets can be ordered if you run out or need more for your big group.
Digit’y Do is hard to criticize. Normally we dedicate a review section to improvements, but there are none here. This game very effectively does what it sets out to do: entertain and challenge with numbers. It’s easy to learn and fun for all ages. Their tagline is “The numbers game with fun you count on!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Get your copy of Digit’y Do today: it helps kids get medical care and you’ll really dig-it! (Punny, right? 😊)