GoSum ($0.99) by Aaptek Ltd may look like a Scrabble-based word game, but this app doesn’t use words – instead, it’s a number base game that’s played like a cross between a word puzzle and a game of sudoku.
Rather than using letters, you will use numbers to build equations on the board, with one, two or three other players.
When you open the app, you will be prompted to connect it to your Facebook profile, inviting your Facebook friends to join. Personally, I’m not a fan of apps that do this, but luckily you do not have to follow through. You can play without Facebook.
GoSum is not a game that you can play on your own. It is strictly multiplayer, and you can play online or using pass and play with someone in the room.
To use multiplayer mode, you will actually need to connect to Facebook or register for an account, which requires your email address. You won’t need to sign in to use pass and play.
I’m not sure why GoSum did not use Game Center for initiating games (it does use Game Center for leaderboards) because as I mentioned, dislike giving out personal details. For those of you like me, there are plenty of temporary email sites that you can use for one time sign ups like these.
Once you’re signed in, you can make a game with up to four players. You can invite a player with their username, or play against a random person.
The goal of this game is to use number tiles to create mathematical equations on the board. It’s like Scrabble, but instead of letters, you’re given number and symbol tiles. For example, I had several numbers and my first play was 2+6=8, which earned me 10 points.
After an equation is on the board, other players use their number tiles to build new equations off of it. Equations can be played horizontally or vertically and they must connect to other numbers on the board. They also must be solvable.
Using more than one symbol in an equation will net you a higher score, as will playing tiles on bonus spots. As in Scrabble, if you play all eight of your tiles, you will earn 50 points.
There are actually quite a few rules to this game, including the inability to use symbols on both sides of the equal sign, which can be limiting. The game does not have a tutorial system in place, aside from a help screen, but you can get extra help on the GoSum website.
The game does not often give you an equal sign, which can make it difficult to form equations, especially during the early moves. If you get stuck, you can replace your tiles, getting new ones, but I was surprised at how difficult it was to make moves at times.
It’s not always easy to figure out a playable sum, so this can be a fun and challenging game. If you love math and are looking for something new to play with your friends, GoSum is a decent choice. This game definitely isn’t for everyone though, so make sure to try the free version first.