Mangahigh.com // December 2010 – February 2011
As discussed elsewhere, 2010 was a phenomenally busy year for me. Unfortunately, most of that work wasn’t particularly obvious to the casual observer.
Yes, we’d launched Lite versions of BIDMAS Blaster, Flower Power and Pyramid Panic (none of which were trivial jobs, by the way, given the complexity of the algorithm engines) but there hadn’t been a genuinely new game for ages.
As the end of the year approached, it became clear we needed a new game and fast. As it happened, we were all big fans of Armor Games’ Two^3 and its fun, simple gameplay, so much so that we used it as the inspiration for our next game, Sigma Prime.
This time the subejct was prime factorisation. Aliens bearing number values fly in from the top of the screen. You fire prime numbers at them, trying to divide the alien’s value down to 1 whereupon it explodes. If you hit aliens with primes that don’t divide exactly, rubble rains down and pushes your missile base up the screen. If your base hits the laser wall across the top of the screen, the game ends.
Particularly cool was the way that, when you zapped an alien, the factorisation tree was shown down the side of the screen, giving students the chance to revise the process.
Sigma Prime wasn’t the most complex game but it achieved its aims well, covering a small but important part of the maths curriculum with an appropriately small but enjoyable game.