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The Number Devil
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What's it about?
THE NUMBER DEVIL presents a mathematical adventure that explores concepts such as infinite numbers, prime numbers, fractions, decimals, powers, and square roots. Robert, a boy who thinks \"mathematics is child abuse,\" narrates the story. His opinion of math changes after he's visited in his dreams for 10 nights by the Number Devil, a mouthy but charismatic character.
The Number Devil introduces math concepts in clever and unusual ways: For example, to explain permutations, the Number Devil shifts Robert's whining classmates around to show the different possibilities. Players end each night by exploring a related math game. Following the permutations lesson, the game is to construct a racetrack by using four-color cubes placed in four possible positions and then racing a car.
Is it any good?
Some of the games are better than others, and a few have difficult controls. But overall, kid-testers found the games to be interesting and fun to play. The combination of Robert's pluck and the Number Devil's edgy demeanor creates an engaging dynamic.
However, the math content varies in difficulty, making it an uncomfortable fit for some children. It's too difficult for kids struggling with math, even though the presentation is novel and jazzy. And for math whizzes, the content may seem like cotton candy -- sweet at the beginning, but unfulfilling at the end. However, for kids who think math is boring, here's a chance to put some fun and creativity back into a topic that is far from linear.
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