If you love math like I do, you’re going to love NUM. It’s a simple-looking math game that looks like a constrained calculator. Given a set of numbers and the basic arithmetic operators, you’re asked to produce the desired result. The rules are simple and the math is basic, yet the game is quite challenging.
I’m not sure if the game is designed for kids, but I believe kids ages 8+ should be able to enjoy the game to its maximum potential. The game has 45 levels and the difficulty level increases as you unlock new ones. Unless you’re a math nerd, most adults would probably find the higher levels a bit challenging.
Six Operands and Five Steps to Victory
The game starts by showing a simple math problem where you need to identify which operator suits the number 2 and 3, in order for the operation to produce the number 5. Even though the correct option is quite obvious here, the game walks you through the entire process to prepare you for the more complex problems.
Once you get the hang of it, the game will show you more options for the number operands. You don’t need to use all the options to complete the challenge. Instead, you tap the number that you want to choose as an operand, then tap the operator, and finally tap the second operand. The operators in this game are the basic arithmetic ones: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
After a few levels, you will see up to six operands. The game will get more complex, and you may need to perform more than one operations to achieve the desired result. For example, you may need to multiply 4 by 7 to get 28, and add 5 to the result in order to get 33.
4 x 7 = 28 28 + 5 = 33
Each intermediary result can be used as an operand for any subsequent operation. Hence, you effectively have up to five steps before achieving the final result. If you’re stuck, you can always tap the Backspace button to erase the operations and start again.
Parents Need to Know
One of the reasons why I don’t think the game is designed for kids is because it offers in-app purchases to unlock solutions when you’re stuck in a level. If you mind in-app purchases, I’d suggest turning off all in-app purchases from your iPhone or iPad by default so the “feature” won’t annoy you as much.
Regardless of its monetization strategy, the gameplay is intuitive and fun. It’s actually a great game for both adults and kids ages 8+. The game doesn’t include third-party apps or links to social media. And, it works great without an internet connection.
Things I Like
NUM looks more like a puzzle than a game. It seems like there’s only one correct answer for each problem. But apparently, NUM can also serve as a good way to show that there are more than one way to produce a number.
Even though you’re not required to have mental math calculation skill, having such skill can really help solving the multi-step problems. In fact, most of the times you’d be walking backwards — from the desired outcome back to the provides operands.
NUM also supports a 1-vs-1 mode on the iPad and a quick little game on the Apple Watch. So if you have an opponent or an Apple Watch, give it a try.
NUM is a great game for math nerds in all ages, whether you’re an inquisitive eight-year-old or an adult looking for a quick math challenge. It has many of the characteristics required for a fun educational game.
App was suggested to us.