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:
- It’s just homework, with pretty graphics (and sometimes not even much of that).
- There is no strategy involved. Playing faster, slower, or making different decisions have no effect on the overall outcome or scoring.
- 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.
- The game can be won by trial and error, with no mathematical abilities required by the player.
- The “game” is a fixed puzzle, not a game.
- There is no “check” in the game for correct math (or there is no “check” for all players, only the winners).
- In a multiplayer game, only the current player is involved, everyone else is just a bored observer.
- It has bad design.
Digital Lame Games for Math
- Multiplication Game (#1)
- Math Baseball (#1, #2)
- Feed Fribbit (#1, #2)
- Absolutely (#2, #4)
- Catch the Fly (#1)
- Dimension M (#3)
- Area and Perimeter “Game” (#1)
- Math Dress Up (#1, #2, #4)
- Mayan Math Monster (#1, #2)
- Decention (#2, #5)
- Space Lunchtime (#1, #2, #4)
- Algebra and the Cockroaches (#1, #8)
- Operation Math (#1)
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.