Release Date: 1977
Players: 1 – 2
Alternate Title: Fun with Numbers
Model #: CX2611
Programmer: Gary Palmer
This early example of “edutainment” surely ruined many a Christmas back in the day.
This is nothing more than a batch of simplistic interactive flash cards. That said, for youngsters who are just starting out on their quest to learn math this is a decent way for them to practice. Now if you born after 1985 you are probably wondering why they just don’t use a computer to do some math problems. Back in the dark technological days of the 1970’s/early 1980’s, this wasn’t an option. If you wanted to practice math problems you either had to write the problems out by hand, do them then check them yourself, or you had to have an involved parent who was willing to do flash cards. In some small way Basic Math was the first step towards parents delegating responsibility to technology.
There are two “gameplay” settings here, tables and random problems. On the tables section once you select your desired discipline (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) you get the chance to select a base number (1-9). Every problem in this set will have the number you select, allowing you to focus on one subset of numbers. Once you complete all ten problems you will be given your score before being forced to reset and begin the process over. The random selection is just what it sounds like, a completely random set of problems. Once you decide on the types of problems, you are presented with an ever changing set of math problems. Complete the set, get your score and move on to another set.
The only other thing of note here is that unless you are the type of person who enjoys having their eardrums shattered, it might be best to put the game on mute. When you use the controller to count up to the correct answer, the game decides it would be best to play a series of dings that gets louder the higher the number goes, and ends with a celebratory jingle when you get the correct answer.