Challenge Math

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Commodore 64 cover.

Challenge Math is an educational video game developed and published by Sunburst Communications for the Apple II in 1982. It was ported to Commodore 64 published by HesWare as "Tri-Math" in 1984 with improved graphics. The game contains three separate math games: Alien Intruder, Digitosaurus and Math Mansion. Alien Intruder is an action game where you must solve arithmetic problems before a computer-controlled alien does. In Digitosaurus, you estimate which of three equations will yield the largest result, then solve it. Math Mansion is a traditional adventure game where you must solve arithmetic problems in reverse (basic algebra) to escape a haunted mansion.

Personal

When I was in elementary school in the late 1980s, my classroom had a single Commodore 64 in the room which was occasionally loaded with various educational games. This was one of them. I don't remember playing Alien Intruder or Digitosaurus, but Math Mansion enticed me enough that I still remembered the game decades later. I searched for it multiple times over the years but, because it is a game inside of a larger package, it was hard to find. I eventually found a Commodore 64 forum where someone else was looking for the same game and found it. I followed his link and was very pleased to see the game again. I played it and promptly beat it on 2020-08-25.

Status

I do not own this game. I have beaten Math Mansion, but Alien Intruder and Digitosaurus cannot be beaten.

Review

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2 3 5 1 4

Best Version: Commodore 64

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Haunted Mansion has lovely artwork.
  • You can customize each of the games to feature addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, each at three levels of complexity.

Bad

  • The graphics of Alien Intruder and Digitosaurus are pretty bad.
  • Alien Intruder is the only game with sound, and it's just beeps and boops.
  • The AI in Alien Intruder sometimes solves problems extremely fast making it near impossible to beat, though this only happens occasionally, and not enough to out-pace a decent player.
  • Without a time limit in Digitosaurus, the player can just solve all three of the equations, rendering null the goal of teaching estimation.
  • The maze in Haunted Mansion is far too easy to solve, and, because there is an obvious shortcut, several rooms can be skipped.

Ugly

  • There isn't anything horrible about any of the games, but there isn't anything very good either.

Media

Covers

Maps

Screenshots

Play Online

Credits

Only the programmers are ever mentioned, not the artists or designers.

Role Staff
Programmers (Apple II) C. McMahon, J. Sweedler
Programmer (Commodore 64) Eric Grubbs

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Apple II) Challenge Math
English (Commodore 64 Title) Tri Math
English (Commodore 64 Box) Tri-Math

Links

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