Mini-Guide: Calculator: The Game

LQ: 8.8

Fun score: 8.6

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , , LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Clicky, a bubbly and witty calculator, needs your help solving a series of mathematical puzzles in hopes of eventually being freed from the confines of your mobile device. The early puzzles in Calculator: The Game tend to feature straightforward math equations. The more levels completed the more buttons are unlocked, each with their own features, allowing for more complex equations. Most buttons will alter numbers in unique and interesting ways, meaning puzzles require just as much wit as mathematical skill. The ESRB has rated Calculator: The Game E for Everyone. At LW4K, we feel that kids as young as 5 can safely enjoy the game and benefit from the thinking skill practice it offers.

THIS GAME IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Flexibility

Calculator: The Game introduces new mechanics every few levels, abandoning old ideas just as quickly as it adds new ones. This means that players need to constantly be on their toes, making use of what buttons are provided for each puzzle. Additionally, most puzzles provide between three and six buttons, limiting the number of choices required means players must use each button to their fullest extent and potential. Lastly, each puzzle has only one solution and each level provides a new challenge. Being flexible enough to try new and different techniques will allow players to progress.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

Every level presents players with a set number of actions that can be taken to solve the puzzle. Because of this, players are forced to plan out what buttons need to be pressed in what order to solve each level with as few actions as possible. There are no time limits, nor are there limits to how many times a puzzle can be attempted, encouraging players to take their time thinking and considering how they should tackle the puzzle at hand without it becoming daunting or overwhelming.

Mathematics

Being a game based on a calculator, just about every level revolves around some understanding of math. Players will be asked to add and subtract most often, although some buttons may have players multiply or divide. Some of the later puzzles have buttons that process the square root of a number, but these are highly rare and don't ask too much of players. With there only being a few buttons that a player can access at any point in time, none of these concepts become too much, as there are only so many button combinations that are possible. Still, a familiarity with some math with help players solve these puzzles, though many of these ideas are taught through the app itself.