The three stages of Math Combat Challenge

Spanish version here.


When we designed the Math Combat Challenge, we wanted to involve the player in a challenging math and survival game that allowed him to face two completely opposite elements. These elements are:

First, the calculation. Whether in static panels, searching for numbers on stage, or in dynamics, which need to be solved before they disappear, the player needs to concentrate. The brain needs to concentrate even to solve the simplest mathematical problems. We are not born knowing how to calculate, although learning is easy. But even in the case of a simple addition, you need to pay attention to the numbers in order to solve the calculation.

Secondly, we are all born with a survival instinct. We are constantly alert to any danger that may harm us. In a survival video game, that means surviving the enemies who are stalking us.

The problem occurs when we confront the need to remain alert to survive, with the need to be alert to the emergence of mathematical problems, and then, the concentration required to quickly solve those problems. How to manage two mental activities that are conceptually opposed?

The answer is clear and direct; with the third state: with concentration, reflexes, and correctly managing the stress of having to find a balance between both states. What happens when, in the same instant, we must defend ourselves from an attack, but we must solve a mathematical exercise? How do we act? The game gives preference to troubleshooting; too many errors (something that can be configured in the panel) and we’ll lose. But if we don’t defend ourselves, we’ll lose too. The answer to this situation is to know how to develop strategies that allow combining the two opposing elements.

The game allows you to get help from external elements, such as the minigun, owl drone, combat mech, or the tracking drone on Titan, but its excessive use subtracts points, as explained in the manual. Therefore, the player must decide whether or not to dispense with these elements, and whether or not to use them, in what quantity and how. This, together with the four difficulty levels and the ability to configure the complexity of mathematical problems, allows the player to design his own challenges.

That is, in short, Mach Combat Challenge. That’s why we usually say we expect you to suffer. But I’m kidding. We’re just waiting for you to suffer a little bit. Just a little bit.