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Review: Numb3rs - The Game - Math Is Your Weapon

Review: Numb3rs - The Game - Math Is Your Weapon

October 13, 2010


If you're talented in mathematics, then here's your chance to shine. Chillingo's Numb3rs - The Game, based on elements from the CBS TV show, is all about solving and building equations to solve crimes. Throughout the game, many variables move across a grid towards the center, and you have to select and destroy them by completing math puzzles before they hit you.


The game is universal and includes 30 story mode levels, as well as an endless challenge mode. 3 difficulty levels are included, allowing you to play regardless of how good you are at math. There are different types of variables for you to destroy and they have properties such as shape, immunity, and reactivity. Occasionally, you will have to complete a simple minigame instead of a traditional level in order to move on. Before the start of each level, there is dialogue involving 4 characters from the TV show.

The Good

Numb3rs adds a lot of fun to solving math equations by incorporating speed and awesome graphics. You start every level at 100% health and have to destroy variables as they move towards you. If you destroy a variable that is within a close distance of another one, a chain reaction will take out the other one as well. There are several types of variables, and some of them have properties that make them immune to reactions or provide extra protection against your equations. Every variable that comes into contact with the glowing object in the center of the screen will reduce your health by a certain percent. The 3 difficulty levels in the game provide 3 completely different experiences. When you select on a variable, a result number will appear in the bottom of the screen, along with several other digits and operators. Your goal is to build the digits and operators into an equation with the result number as the answer. Normal mode requires you to use 2 digits and 1 operator, whereas xyz mode requires you to use 3 digits and 2 operators. The most challenging is rpn mode, which makes it so that an operator affects the 2 digits to the left of it. (For example, 5 + 3 - 2 must be written as 5 3 + 2 -) Fans of Numb3rs will fall in love with the game's dialogue, involving Charlie Eppes, Don Eppes, Amita Ramanujan, and Larry Fleinhardt from the show. The characters help to add a nice sense of humor and makes defusing a bomb that's triggered to explode in several minutes much more enjoyable. The minigames change things up a bit, even if they are fairly simple, and involve running across rooftops, tapping colors in a certain order, and other similar tasks.

The Bad

People who despise math probably won't enjoy this game too much, even if it isn't too difficult in normal mode. The majority of Numb3rs involves a lot of thinking, and if you can't stand some basic algebra, then this one's not for you. The minigames, although mostly unrelated to math, have no depth at all and are very simplistic. The plot is difficult to understand, as it is full of sarcastic comments by characters, and you'll likely get lost if you don't watch the show.

The Verdict

To be honest, math hasn't seemed this fun or intense in a long time. The difficulty modes provide an enjoyable experience for just about anyone, even if you're really bad at math. 30 story mode puzzles and a challenge mode with 3 further options gives the game a decent amount of replay value for its cheap price tag. Numb3rs - The Game is a universal app and a should buy for $0.99 unless you have a serious grudge against math.

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