Mathematics is the science of numbers and shapes. It tends to deal with the logic, structure, order, and measure of quantities. Mathematics is a vast subject that has a number of concepts and theories. Some of the common categories in which mathematics can be classified include algebra, arithmetics, probability theory, number theory, game theory, statistics, trigonometry, euclidean and non-euclidean geometries, set theory, etc. We make use of mathematics in a lot of daily life applications such as counting cash, counting objects, identifying shapes of the things present in the surroundings, estimating the time required to reach a particular location, and many more. This is the reason why having a good grip on mathematical concepts is always an asset. A lot of people think that mathematical abilities can be developed only by studying the formulae, deriving complex equations, and solving typical numerical questions; however, that’s not true. One can easily build his/her mathematical concepts by playing games.
Examples of Fun Math Games for Adults
There are a number of games that can help a person gain knowledge about various mathematical concepts and theories. Some of them are listed below:
Sudoku is one of the most common fun math games that people of all ages can play easily. It typically consists of a 9 x 9 grid that is further divided into nine smaller grids each having a dimension equal to 3 x 3. The main objective of the game is to fill the 9 x 9 grid in such a way that each row, column, and sub-grids contain the digits 1 to 9 without any repetition. Playing sudoku helps a person build strong mathematical and logical concepts as the game is entirely based on logic theory and the placement of numbers in a particular format or combination. Sudoku is easily available in newspapers, magazines, and books. One can also play sudoku online or download sudoku game applications on mobile phones, tablets, or computers.
2. Online Calculation Game Applications
There are a number of calculation game applications available on app stores that tend to organize various mathematical concepts such as generic algebraic equations in the form of quizzes. The difficulty level of the calculations keeps on increasing gradually as the player advances further in the game. This helps a person improve his/her calculation speed and the decision-making capability.
Fillomino puzzles are yet another example of math games that one can play for fun as well as to build a good conceptual knowledge of mathematical theories. The first Fillomino puzzle was published by a Japanese pen-paper puzzle publishing company, Nikoli in 1994. The game works on three simple rules. The first rule of the game and the main idea behind the puzzle is to fill each block of the puzzle with the same number horizontally and vertically. The second rule is that the number of cells contained by each block is supposed to be equal to the number filled inside the block. The final rule is that the blocks having the same dimensions can not touch each other in any way, either horizontally or vertically.
Battleship is a two-player board game that makes use of simple mathematical concepts of probability. The game was first introduced as a pen and paper game during world war 1. Currently, a variety of plastic boards and digital versions of the game are available in the market. The game is provided with a game board, 42 red coloured hit pegs, 84 white coloured miss pegs, and two sets of five ships. The five ships are known as the carrier ship, the battleship, the cruiser, the submarine, and the destroyer ship. These ships vary in length and other parameters. The ships also contain holes in which the hit pegs are inserted. The game begins with each player hiding his/her ships on the lower portion of the board known as the ocean grid. The main idea behind the game is to guess the location of the battleships of the opposite player. The rules of the game are quite simple. Players can place their ships either horizontally or vertically. The diagonal positioning of the ships is not allowed and is considered to be foul play. Also, one can not alter the position of the ships after the game begins and the ships can not occupy the same grid space. Each player fires shots towards the enemy ships and the opposite player tell verbally whether the fired shot was a hit or a miss. If the shot is a hit, a red peg is inserted into the holes present on the ship. When all the holes present on the ship get filled with red tags or pegs, the player is supposed to say the phrase “You sunk my battleship”. The player whose all the five ships sink first tends to lose the game.
Calcudoku is a fun math game that is quite similar to sudoku. In both games, the assignment of the numbers, to the individual blocks, is done in such a way that there exists no repetition along the rows or the columns. The only difference is that in a calcudoku the grids are further split into smaller sections randomly, while the grid distribution of sudoku is uniform. The smaller sections of a calcudoku generally consist of two or more squares. Each section is associated with an arithmetic equation. The numbers that are filled inside the blocks must satisfy the equation associated with the section. This helps a person improve his/her pattern recognition capability, arithmetic calculations, and data sorting ability.
Numbrix is a prominent example of a fun game that tend to enhance the mathematical calibre of a person. Numbrix typically depends on the logic theory subset of mathematics. A numbrix puzzle typically consists of an n x n grid. The difficulty level of the puzzle tends to increase with an increase in the dimension of the puzzle matrix. The numbrix puzzle was first developed by an American communist, Marilyn vos Savant. It was published officially for the first time in 2008. The pattern and formation of a Numbrix puzzle are quite similar to that of a crossword puzzle. The only difference between the two is that in place of the alphabets, the game matrix of the Numbrix puzzle is randomly filled with numbers between 1 and 81. The task of the game is to insert numbers from 1-81 into the matrix blocks. One prime rule of the game is that the player can only move along the horizontal or the vertical path and any diagonal movement is considered foul play. The pen and paper version of the game is easily available in magazines and newspapers. Some of the online applications have also been developed that provide the user with the opportunity to access and play the game on mobile phones, tablets, computers, or other devices.
Suguru is yet another math fun game suitable for people of all age groups. The word ‘Suguru’ means number groups. It is a Japanese puzzle game that is designed on the basis of two subdomains of mathematics, namely, number systems and logic theory. The rules of the game are simple. The puzzle consists of a grid that contains multiple cells. This grid of cells is further divided into blocks randomly. The number of cells contained by each block ranges from one to five. The aim of the puzzle is to fill the blocks with numbers in such a way that each block having n number of cells is filled with numbers from 1 to n. For instance, a block having one cell is required to be filled with the number 1. Similarly, a block having four cells must be filled with the digits from 1 to 4 and so on. Also, one must make sure that the same digits present in the grid do not touch each other.
Masyu is yet another logic puzzle created by a Japanese pen-paper puzzle publishing company, Nikoli. Masyu consists of a rectangular grid that has n number of squares and circles. The circles are either black or white in colour. The black circles are called filled circles, while the white circles are known as empty circles. The main aim of the game is to draw a loop that passes through all the circled cells present in the grid without lifting the pen off the paper. The intersection of the line is not allowed. Also, the loop is required to be formed in such a way that it passes through the centre of one of the four sides of the cell forming an angle of 90 degrees during each entry and exit. This implies that the line used to draw the loop cannot pass through the grids diagonally. This particular game helps a person learn about the concept of symmetry.
9. Jigsaw Sudoku
The rules of playing a jigsaw sudoku puzzle game are quite similar to that of normal sudoku. The only difference between normal sudoku and jigsaw sudoku is that in a normal sudoku game all the sub-grids have a common dimension, but the subgrids of the jigsaw sudoku have different shapes and dimensions. This increases the complexity of the game, thereby increasing the difficulty level by a significant amount.
Minesweeper is a single-player videogame that helps a person learn the concepts of mathematics in a simple manner. The main objective of the game is to open all squares present in the grid by clicking on them and avoid clicking the square that has a mine hidden beneath it. Three kinds of responses are obtained on clicking a cell. The first response is that a number gets displayed on the top of the cell. This number represents the distance of the current cell from the cell under which the mine is located. The second type of response is that a blank square gets displayed meaning that the current cell is quite far away from the cell that has mine hidden beneath it. The final type of response is the explosion of the mine. In such a case, the player loses the game. Usually, the mathematical concept of probability, logic theory, and statistics are used in such games. Such games help enhance the ability of a person to respond spontaneously in any situation.
11. Binary Puzzle
A binary puzzle forms a classic example of fun math games. Binary the words represents two numbers, i.e., 0 or 1 or two states, i.e., low or high respectively. A binary puzzle is a simple grid puzzle game that has one main objective, i.e., to fill the grid with 0s and 1s in such a way that the grid balance is maintained. Balancing the grid means that there must be the same number of ones and zeroes in each row and column of the grid. For instance, a 10 x 10 binary puzzle grid must have five zeroes and five ones in each of its rows and columns. Also, the uniqueness of the grid is required to be preserved throughout the game. This means that no two rows or columns are allowed to be filled with an exact combination of zeroes and ones. Playing binary puzzles helps the player improve his/her reasoning skills, pattern recognition ability, and critical thinking.
12. Playing Cards
Playing cards is one of the classic examples of fun math games. It helps a person understand the concepts of probability theory, improve their calculations, and enhance their spontaneous decision-making ability. Playing cards also help a person learn about patterns, sequencing, and sorting. One can easily understand and learn the multiplication tables with the help of playing cards. Such games require a firm grip on the information storing and retrieving skills thereby, helping a person improve his/her memorising ability.
13. Rubik’s Cube
A Rubik’s cube is a classic example of the fun games that one can play to enhance his/her mathematical abilities. Rubik’s cube was invented by a Hungarian professor of architecture and sculptor Erno Rubik in 1974. It is typically a three-dimensional puzzle that consists of a cube with 12 cubies attached to the edge of the main cube, 8 cubies present on the corners of the parent cube, and one core present right in the middle of all the cubies. Solving a Rubik’s cube helps a person learn about ratios, proportions, permutations, combinations, and fractions. This improves the numerical reasoning ability of the player. There are a variety of Rubik’s cubes available in the market. For instance, a mirror cube, a pocket cube, a standard cube, a master cube, a professor cube, and many more. The number of layers that a Rubik’s cube can have range up to 33.
14. Pattern Puzzle
There are a variety of pattern puzzle games available in the market that help a person groom his/her mathematical abilities such as pattern recognition, geometric shapes correlation, numerical analysis, and critical reasoning. These puzzles typically have multiple pieces of different shapes arranged in a specific order. The player is required to guess the next object that perfectly fits the combination of the previous shapes. The logic theory subset of mathematics is typically applied in such games.
15. Wooden Block Puzzles
The wooden block puzzles are yet another example of fun math games. Such games typically consist of a wooden block that has a particular shape grooved into it. A set of wooden blocks are provided with the game set. These wooden blocks are constructed in different shapes and are designed in such a way that an appropriate alignment of the blocks gets perfectly fit into the groove of the wooden box. The alignment of the pieces of the puzzle is quite tricky and helps a person improve his/her mental calibre.
16. Magic Square
A magic square is yet another fun math game designed specifically for adults. It typically consists of a (n x n) grid that is further divided into smaller cubical units. The main idea of the game is to fill the grid in such a way that none of the numbers is repeated and the sum of the digits in each column, each row, and each diagonal remains constant. This helps a person improve his/her calculation speed. A magic square of order n is an arrangement of n² numbers. These numbers are whole integers and are filled in a square in such a way that the sum of numbers in rows, columns, and both the diagonals remain constant. This constant sum of numbers is known as the magic constant or magic sum and can be denoted by the formula n(n² + 1)/2.