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Number Munchers Analysis

Page history last edited by Max Gibson 10 years, 5 months ago

Publisher: MECC

Platform: Apple II 

Release Date: 1986

Version 1.2

 

Description

"Number Munchers is an educational/edutainment computer game in the Munchers series produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) for several operating systems. Designed to teach basic math skills, it was popular among American school children in the 1980s and 1990s and was the recipient of several awards." -Wikipedia

 

Game Walkthrough

The main menu of the game offers four options: Number Munchers, Hall of Fame, Information, and Quit.  Hall of Fame is simply a list of high scores and Information provides a tutorial of the game. The actual game is split into five options: multiples, factors, primes, equality, and inequality. The player plays as Muncher and walks around a grid full of numbers or equations. Enemies appear on the grids as well as safe zones for the player. The player loses a life by munching a number or equation that does not meet the criteria or by running into an enemy. Once the player runs out of lives, he can submit his name to the hall of fame if he did well enough.

 

Playthrough

 

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Game Objectives

The player must munch all numbers or equations on the grid that match the given criteria to beat a level. The player wants to beat as many levels as possible and post a high score in the hall of fame.

 

Educational Objectives

Number Munchers looks to teach and develop basic math skills in the player through increasingly difficult levels.

 

Motivational Elements     

The Hall of Fame encourages players to always try to reach the highest score. High scores are particularly effective in a classroom setting as students want to get higher scores than their peers and feel accomplished when they succeed. Plus the threat of dropping in rank on the Hall of Fame list gives players reason to continue to improve. For players not interested by high scores, the game also contains cut-scenes after every three levels. The cut-scenes provide an entertaining break from the gameplay and players will want to beat more levels to see new cut-scenes. The cut-scenes also give some personality to Muncher, making him more likeable to players who will in turn be more motivated to help him in his task of munching numbers.

 

Educational Outcomes

The way Number Munchers successfully combines math and a videogame is impressive. The actual gameplay mechanics, walking around a grid and eating numbers, are not particularly interesting on their own. So the math ends up being a large part what makes the game fun, with the inclusion of enemies also helping. Players are encouraged to find solutions quickly before enemies start to appear. So even if the game does not create a lasting interest in math for a player, solving basic math problems will become second nature.

 

Addtional Video 

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This video is from V1.1 released on the PC

Timestamps

 

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