Indie studio Neurodio is celebrating Pi Day with Numbala, a mobile game that teaches children math. The first six levels of the sci-fi adventure are available for free on Android devices only today, and an additional premium version of the game will debut in May.
Pi Day celebrates what is probably the world’s most famous mathematical constant — though most people might prefer to eat pun-tastic pie rather than think about numbers. But Neurodio’s hoping that its hand-drawn art and side-scrolling gameplay will change kids’ minds.
Numbala is a science-fiction adventure where players fly different ships, collect tokens, and avoid obstacles. As they progress through the levels, they must solve arithmetic problems and use numbers to move their spacecraft from lane to lane. Its target audience is children who are aged eight to 12 years old.
When Neurodio started two years ago, its mission was to create games that are both fun as well as educational. It started out by developing the software Procalculia, a test that diagnoses whether or not someone suffers from dyscalculia, a disorder that makes it difficult to understand numbers and do math.
“[Procalculia] was and still is a success with professionals, but we want to reach a wider audience by creating science-backed games,” said Neurodio marketing manager Robert Kujawa in an email to GamesBeat. “With our background in neuroscience and ties to Nicolaus Copernicus University, we hope to establish a brand of games that not only work towards cognitive development, but also don’t really feel like educational games.”
To make sure Numbala…