Thrift Treasure: Tribulation

Thrift Treasure: Tribulation

I seem to be having some luck finding colorful board games from the 1980’s. I guess because I was still in high school during this time they appeal to me. Typically designed with primary colors and custom plastic parts, these games often fall into the abstract games genre. Perfect for me since that is probably my favorite type!

I selected this week’s Thrift Treasure because it fit into the same mold as others from the era that I’ve enjoyed. Little did I realize that Tribulation by Western Publishing Company would also deliver a refresher course in basic math. Now before you groan and assume this is just an educational game, keep reading.

Tribulation looked like another 80's-era abstract game. Turns out it is also a refresher course in basic math. And not boring! - SahmReviews.com

Tribulation comes with a custom plastic game tray, 49 number squares and 50 number discs. Setting up the game consists of randomly mixing the number squares and placing them on the game tray in the perfectly-sized recessed areas. This creates your custom board for this game.

Tribulation looked like another 80's-era abstract game. Turns out it is also a refresher course in basic math. And not boring! - SahmReviews.com

Next, take the 50 number discs and turn them face down. Mixing them up, we chose to just leave them in a pile where anyone could reach. That’s all there is to the setup – now you and as many as your friends that fit around a table are ready to play! (Tribulation supports any number of players).

Tribulation looked like another 80's-era abstract game. Turns out it is also a refresher course in basic math. And not boring! - SahmReviews.com

One person turns over one of the number discs, revealing a 1- or 2-digit number. It is then a race to find three numbers in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally that total the number on the revealed disc. But not just any total – it must be done in the following order: number 1 * number 2 +/- number 3. For example, if the drawn number is 29, you might find a 6, 5, 1 in order to create 6 * 5 – 1 = 29. The first person to point out a valid answer from the board wins the disc.

Tribulation looked like another 80's-era abstract game. Turns out it is also a refresher course in basic math. And not boring! - SahmReviews.com

Tribulation is played over many rounds, either until all the discs have been claimed or until a person reaches an agreed upon number of discs. The board changes from game to game thanks to the random population, but remains the same for the duration of one game. To mix things up a little bit, the rules also state that sixes and nine are interchangeable!

You can find a number of copies of Tribulation on eBay for well under $15 shipped and maybe at your local thrift store. Also known as Trio or Trimatics, it has been issued by a couple other publishers over the years. Maybe one of those will pop up on the shelves!

How do you think you’d do at this math game?

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

6 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Tribulation»

  1. I love board games. Tribulation is not one that I have heard of though. I suck at math, so it’s probably better that I didn’t know about it, lol!

  2. Connie says:

    I love board games. Didn’t have a TV for a while growing up, so we played games a lot. Might need to check this one out.

  3. Kristi says:

    I like games that teach something. Math was never my strong subject in school so I could have used a game like this.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love games that exercise the mind on different levels. I’ll have to pick this one up. It looks fun.

  5. Becky says:

    I have a nephew who LOVES math. He would totally enjoy this game. It’s nice that there’s no set number of players.

  6. Rachel says:

    I played this game endlessly as a child…and well into graduate school 🙂 I now teach an afterschool math program and have created several copies of the game so all of my students can play at once. It’s so gratifying to see another generation enjoying this game.

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