The key question becomes whether these players decide to stick around once they realize Numbers League
is actually a learning game. Author Gabe Zichermann (Gamification by Design
) has pointed out that the last big hit in Edutainment was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
, and posits that teachers and parents sucked the fun out of what was a really promising genre. Numbers League
gives us hope that Edutainment can make a comeback... The core of Numbers League
is math, from simple addition to multiplication. It covers a learning level somewhere between 3rd and 5th Grade, depending on your child's comfort level with math. Certain aspects like negative numbers may actually be farther along in your school's curriculum than multiplication, for instance. Gaining proficiency in math operations is really what Numbers League
seems to be aiming for, but with a heavy focus on fun and competition.
The basic game involves selecting a hero that will represent you in the game. Up to four players can join in and compete, or you can select robots to fill one of the allocated slots. There are multiple game modes that relate to how much variation (addition, subtraction, multiplication) you want in your game. As you begin, you're shown a line-up of bad guys, each with a single number and a point value. Your job is to draw a card and items you can combine to match the number of each bad guy; each time you make a match, you capture the baddie and his point value is added to your score. When you're competing with other players or robots, the object becomes to clear the board with the highest score. This forces you to think harder about how you can combine heros and objects to match villains with high point totals. In the end, the winner is the person with the highest score, but parents will know that they're always winning if their kids are playing this math game!