Mathbreakers is a revolutionary approach to grade-school mathematics. Instead of worksheets, students explore a rich 3-D world full of machines and monsters.
At first glance, it might look like Minecraft, Halo or any other 3-D game — but in this world, everything is made of numbers. You can pick them up, chop them in half, and throw them around. The basic rule of Mathbreakers is that when two numbers touch, they add together and combine. Based on this simple mechanic, there are a host of challenges to overcome as you explore.
What does it teach?
Integers, Fractions, Operations and Negatives are Mathbreakers’ bread and butter. It’s most suitable for 2nd-5th graders, but kids outside that age range (and often adults!) find themselves enthralled with a world where you can play with numbers. In Mathbreakers, we teach these mechanics by presenting the player with puzzles, monsters, and gadgets with which to manipulate the numbers.
The game starts off relatively easy, with enemies and walls the likes of “5″ or “18″, numbers easily made by throwing together a few 2s and 3s. Since adding together to get “0″ will destroy any number, you can pass these challenges just by matching the negatives with the positives. Interestingly, this also teaches about factors indirectly, since you can use any factor of N to destroy it with multiple actions. For example, you can destroy a 20 by using a “5″ four times, or by using two “10″s.
It picks up speed in later levels with more complicated machines. One of the most ubiquitous machines in Mathbreakers is the Number Hoop, a magical doorway that transforms any number that passes through it, usually with multiplication. If you pass through a x2 hoop with a 5, it would instantly become a 10. Number hoops are fully reversible — if you go through it from the other side, it’s a /2 hoop, and you can take an 8 through to make a 4. With only a x2 hoop and some 4s, there are some pretty challenging obstacles to overcome; could you make an 11 with just these objects?