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Numbers Game! App

August 13, 2013

I sometimes get followed on twitter by the designers of Maths apps. Often, I’m not that impressed and it’s just another variant on ‘how fast can you do mental arithmetic?’ which I really worry gives the wrong impression of Maths.


And so, Numbers Game! Followed me. I took a look and I’m quite very pleased with it. It’s really simple and takes you through the first level only. After that, you’re left to yourself. There is no start screen so when you go back in, you’re literally where you left off – no messing.

Here are the reasons why I particularly like this app:
1. It does not have a timer. You can take as long as you like on each level. Maths is NOT about speed.
2. It’s based on the countdown numbers game which does help to develop a feel for numbers and operations.
3. It avoids annoying order of operation issues (‘BIDMAS’) by making you use any numbers you create on the way as the start of your next line.
4. It starts each step on a new line (this matters to mathematicians as a way of reinforcing good habits).
5. With only 6 numbers and 4 operations, there aren’t that many things to try out* do as long as you take a systematic approach**, you should be able to get to a*** solution sooner or later.

*ok, there actually are quite a lot really but many of them are pretty obviously not good starting points. Also, starting with 1+2 is effectively the same start as 2+1.
**encouraging a systematic approach = very good thing.
***some of the levels have multiple solutions.

Any downsides? Well, there are adverts but they’re not intrusive and the game is free so that’s expected. There’s also a coin system to buy help with. I’m not sure how useful that is (yet at least). The only other thing I’d say is that I don’t think the levels are in increasing difficulty. There are some levels I’ve been really stuck on for a while and then followed by a very simple one.

Essentially, I like it a lot and think it is something I may well encourage students to do.

Please can we have it on Windows 8?

I’ll leave you with lvl 10 to ponder:



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  1. Unfortunately cannot try it as there is no Android version as yet.

    Assuming you have to use all six numbers, the solution is 75×8÷5 – (4+5+8)

  2. Hi Mr H. I should have said but you don’t have to use all the numbers.

    Thanks Colleen – good to know!

  3. Have now downloaded Android version. From a learning point of view, I would like it to stay on the solution page until pressed. Also, there isn’t an obvious progression in difficulty.

  4. Mr Hill permalink

    Useful review, defo agree that no time limit is a real positive.

    Another solution is 75 + ((8/4)*(5+5))+8

  5. Stevie D permalink

    Another solution: 75 + (5 × 5) + 4 – (8 ÷ 8)

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