For the last week, in between hours of dissertation work, I’ve been trying to figure out best strategies for the game Chain Factor.

I’m still trying to figure this one out, but there’s got to be a way to turn the analysis of this game into an assignment for a math class.  In particular, I’m thinking about doing some mathematical analysis of games in my Honors Calculus class this winter semester.

For the first six days, I just played in Basic Mode to try to figure out some general strategies.  It seems like it would be a very simple game, but it’s much more complex than it looks.  After a week of play, I still can’t come up with hard and fast strategies that work consistently.

Tonight I started playing in Power Mode and this adds a whole new set of logic and mathematical strategies to the game.  When is the optimum time or situation in which to use each power?  Which are the best powers to choose so that you have a way “out” of any threatening situation?

I’m thinking that, at the very least, it would be an interesting assignment to have students do an analysis of each of the powers, when they are useful, and when using them will actually hurt you.

Another interesting assignment would be to determine a strategy for stacking columns so that you get the best “chains” when they are set off.

The nice thing about the game is that it’s addicting, but just frustrating enough that you can’t just keep playing all day. 🙂

Please let me know if you come up with any interesting ideas for assigning this game!

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