Here is my collection of what I would consider to be “lame” math games.  Here are some of the telltale characteristics of a lame math game:

  1. It’s just homework, with pretty graphics (and sometimes not even much of that).
  2. There is no strategy involved.  Playing faster, slower, or making different decisions have no effect on the overall outcome or scoring.
  3. The game play stops when it’s time to do math (the player is in a cycle: play, do math, play, do math, play …). This turns the math into a punishment within a game.
  4. The game can be won by trial and error, with no mathematical abilities required by the player.
  5. The “game” is a fixed puzzle, not a game.
  6. There is no “check” in the game for correct math (or there is no “check” for all players, only the winners).
  7. In a multiplayer game, only the current player is involved, everyone else is just a bored observer.
  8. It has bad design.

Digital Lame Games for Math

With lame games, the intent is to reward students for doing math, but in reality, the math becomes a punishment taking the student away from game-playing time.