Developer: alan chien
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Puzzles are far and wide one of the most popular games for iOS devices, yet the mathematics genre of puzzle games have always been a bit hit and miss. iPhone players love challenging puzzles, perhaps it's an innate dislike of math? Answer 2 Equations is trying to break the stereotype to show that math is fun with a new iOS app and card game on Kickstarter.
While Sudoku is still perhaps the number one numbers-based puzzle game out there, new games continue to surface trying to reinvent the way we play puzzle games and interact. Answer 2 Equations is a new education/mathematics game from lone-wolf developer Alan Chien who is also running a kickstarter for a solitaire-style card game of same name. The game is designed to bring out the concepts of fun puzzles and learning math along the way, as well as giving your brain a good workout.
I'll admit I needed a few rounds of hints before I got the hang of the game. Essentially you are given several rows (8x4 on the iPad) of cards on a screen showing numbers with circled attributes complimenting each number with a +, -, x, or /. While the game is complicated at a first look, essentially it's a very simple game centered around the name: Answer 2 Equations.
You draw a card that is your answer, and you must use equations from the cards in front of you, as many as possible, that lead to the answer. The more you catch, the better you end up. It's a game that plays against the clock rather than leaderboards or high scores though, so don't expect to gloat to anyone aside from yourself.
The difficulty is in figuring out the equations that answer each card. Perhaps it's because I'm a novice, but Answer 2 Equations lacks a guide to show what you're doing wrong and I found myself unable to make moves that I thought should be allowed. Although you can get partial hints and completed equation matches upon request, it can still be harder than you'd expect to understand what you need to do to progress in the game. The developer does offer this 15-minute over of Answer 2 Equations from YouTube:
Answer 2 Equations is interesting and unique, if sadly short on ease of use. Nothing is more frustrating in a puzzle game than a failure in the mechanics of the game, as opposed to your abilities or skills. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way to manage, delete, or roll back choices during gameplay. In a game this challenging, this feels like an essential feature.
Overall, what is important is the concept of Answer 2 Equations, and how it truly is a unique idea for a puzzle game that includes math and learning. While the kickstarter is an offbeat concept, we can pitch you will perhaps like the game and the workout it gives your brain.