Numbl: Number jumble fun.™
Here’s a game we haven’t seen on Appstruck for awhile – a math game. Awhile back we reviewed what we surmised as a kid’s math game, by the name of Razor Reef Brain Addition, a game one of our writers felt marked a perfect marriage between fun and education. Today, we have Numbl: Number jumble fun, by one Andy Wise, creator of Numbl.com, that proves to be quite the “mental marathon,” as the developer puts it. Now, I hardly consider myself a math person – I may have been an ace at those math competitions in grade school (yea I know, har har), but every math class thereafter was more a foray into self-inflicted torture and impatience, than one of immediate talent. Math is definitely a subject many people, including myself, have to work more diligently at to improve – so I ask, what better way than with a game?
After playing it, I’ve decided Numbl is definitely my choice in math games, for improving basic speed skills in mental math. No one wants to play a game of decoding differential equations and higher end calculus, except for those few and far between math majors, but nearly anyone can partake in a game of speedy arithmetic – and that’s essentially what Numbl is, coupled with the strategy of using the least moves possible to clear the entire board.
The game is shockingly good-looking. Good sound effects of the right pitch and digital cheeriness bring to mind a retro computer system, only it’s paired with a contemporary blue sheen that reminds me of the Chase credit card company. The setup reminds me of a calculator, with numbered buttons in a 5×4 area, an arrangement I suppose, is a good likeness to have when the game revolves around calculating a sum. The object of the game is to clear the board with the least moves as possible; in other words, it’s best to use the most numbers possible per turn, to faster eliminate numbers from the board. The number 11, for example, when shown at the top to be solved, could simply be solved by the addition of the two numbers 9 and 2. But, since 11 isn’t a terribly high number – as opposed to, say, 17 – then it’d be wiser to use an allotment of small numbers, like 3+2+2+4 – given of course, that you have these numbers available. Should you worry that you may receive a number that you cannot create with the remaining numbers at hand, fret not: Numbl takes into account such limitations and allows you to use a single number of equal value to the number at the top (e.g. use a 6 for a 6). Obviously, for the purposes of clearing the board, I recommend not to tap a number 9 to solve for 9 when you could instead use 2+2+5. Besides, when a pesky 17 shows up, you’ll want to have that 9 on hand.
Easy to pick up and easy to learn, Numbl also offers a nice split-screen mode for two-player. Also, both the one-player and two-player modes are timed, making speed a crucial element to the game. I prefer one-player, myself, because I enjoy improving my own mental acuity at my own pace (faster, Jackie, faster!), but to each his own. I hope in later versions Numbl will offer a similar version of play with subtraction, multiplication and division. You may as well cover all the preliminary bases, right? In any case, whoever is lucky enough to nab the sole promo code won’t regret downloading this game.
*When using the promotion code to download for free, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Out of courtesy, please leave a comment below mentioning you’ve used the promotion code.