November 17, 2011 | by Jamie Maltman
Evaluated version: 1.0
Pros: Polished, Clean, Simple and Fun, Great on Tablets
Cons: Can Lag On Older Phones
Looking for a free fun math game to give your brain a light workout, all wrapped in a nice polished Tetris-like package? Give Sumon a try and you won’t be disappointed.
The basic idea is to tap blocks to mentally add together their numbers to reach a target number shown at the top right. You can tap again to de-select, but go over the target and you have to start the sum again.
What makes this version of that idea particularly fun is a couple of wrinkles. Not only do the blocks not have to be adjacent, but you actually get more points for using more blocks, and even more points for using blocks that are further away from each other, which challenges you to scan the whole board instead of getting tunnel-vision. The Tetris-like quality comes in when you make the match, and any blocks on top fall down into the now open spaces.
The countdown timer resets for each successful sum, and while its easy to stay ahead on the lowest levels with targets in the low to mid-teens, as you advance it gets progressively more challenging.
There are three game modes:
- Classic: Start with a full board, and keep making sums until you clear the board and advance to the next level.
- Progressive: Start with a small board, and each time you clear it they add a row to make it bigger and bigger. Note that since the timer is per sum, and not for the entire board, the size of the board is more of a visual distraction than a challenge.
- Respawn: This is probably the most fun, since you are working against the sum timer and a clock for the whole board. If you don’t finish the board by the time the clock runs out, more blocks are added. Even at the lower levels it creates a good challenge and you really find yourself working out your brain.
The game is free, with no ads, and very clean graphics. The blocks are made to look like the kind of number blocks you played with as a kid, with brown paper cutout menus. It looks fantastic on my Transformer or my Galaxy S Vibrant, though I like the way it looks in landscape slightly better. I’ve tried a lot of different math games and this is probably the smoothest graphically. There is not a rough edge in sight. Game play is equally smooth on the Transformer but did lag somewhat on my phone.
All in all, a fun way to train your brain on quick mental addition, whether you’re 7, 37 or 77. My 2.5 year old son will mash the blocks a little, but isn’t into the gameplay yet. Download it from the Market today!
What did you think of Sumon, or do you have another favorite math-puzzle game?