Ace Mathician


By Daavpuke, Posted 19 Aug 2012

Edutainment always walks a tightrope between being dreadfully boring and not being educational enough or horribly pandering. Ace Mathician is not any of that, as the education aspect is plastered in the player’s face. This miniature title teaches a mix between algebra and geometry to a public not fit for it. Hell, it’s not fit for some less savvy adults. Still, the rudimentary puzzle factor of it won’t require calculation, just some trial and error logic.

Ace Mathician - NoobFeed Review

Ace Mathician guides a cute koala to some juicy fruit. In order to access the sweet treats, blocks must be rearranged on the panel grid, sectioned up in a horizontal X-axis and a vertical Y-axis. Again, since the target audience constitutes of younger people, let’s explain the former as up and down parts on a checkerboard. Each level also has 3 stars to grasp in faraway places. Just reaching the fruit is enough to complete a level, but having some pride in finishing a stage will require accessing the stars as well. This is where the tricky math stuff comes into play.

By using math, players can rearrange movable platforms on the grid. This starts with some simple equations such as Y=2+6, which would raise the platform by 8 increments. Another example would be X=0-6, which would sway the platform 6 checks to the left. If only this would stay at such a level or raise the bar a tad higher, Ace Mathician would be an amusing tool to teach youngsters some math problems. However, the game quickly escalates towards problems unheard of without any explanation. It’s not sure what country teaches kids of what age which subjects, but probably sine, cosine and tangent aren’t the easiest subjects anywhere. This is where the trial and error starts.

Ace Mathician - NoobFeed Review

Using these advanced problems makes platforms act completely different. It’s hard to realize how the moving will occur in the space given, which makes advancement difficult. As multiple platforms will be added later on, it will only get harder. More so, the game will also start demanding some of these problems to be performed mid-air, whilst our koala jumps to another section. This requires both defined logical insight and predetermination. One must know exactly how a platform moves, before moving it, to get to the desired spot this way. Yes, the pixelated view of Ace Mathician welcomes players of all ages to have some wholesome fun, but the math part of the game sneers at intellectual gaps.

Ace Mathician is a confusing beast. Does it really want to cater to younger people with its simplistic and fun outlook or is it, in fact, food for math buffs in disguise? If it truly wants to teach something, it’s not doing so with the right approach. Teaching would imply an explanation of some kind and the more complex functions require some clarification to grasp. This game fails in doing so and thus shoots itself in the foot.

Ace Mathician - NoobFeed Review

It would be unjust to fail Ace Mathician on its subject of teaching math with a platform game and a solid idea. It doesn’t however deserve any good grades for making the core essence an esoteric concept that will most likely suck the fun out of any progress. There’s nothing pleasing about punishing ignorance with the theft of stars, by lack of a better term. Ace Mathician should look up what positive reinforcement means. In the meantime, anyone interested in the title might want to brush up on their functions before heading into this confusing game.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

comments powered by Disqus

  • Hey,

    I’m Hugo Smits, creator of the game, and I just stopped by to clarify some things. The game is aimed at kids between 10-12 years old. I’m from the Netherlands (Europe) and over here, kids get to fool around with graphic calculators in elementary school around that age.

     The background resembles a basic graphic calculator screen (the grid, and the fact that 0,0 is in the middle).

    It’s true that a certain insight is needed, but that is the whole learning part of the game. After all, you can’t learn something you already know ;)

    I made the levels in such a way that getting to the fruit is easy.. so the player should never get stuck. You can always revisit older levels if you gained more insight by solving the other puzzles :)

    Posted Aug 27, 2012

  • @HugoSmits: Thanks for replying, first off. I'm from Belgium and I've never heard of that; this should give you an idea how local that is. I'd say the target audience would be a few years higher because of that. All the rest is explained in the review, but thank you for the clarifitcation, we appreciate that.

    Posted Aug 29, 2012


General Information

Ace Mathician


Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): CIRCLE Entertainment
Developer(s): Goodbye Galaxy Games
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Puzzle
Release Date: 2010-08-02

View All

Popular Articles