Maybe it’s spending more time at home but I’ve found myself looking at smaller diversions to spend fifteen minutes here and there. Games come in all shapes and sizes but Mighty Math arrives from Greenfall Studios with a cheap price tag and a very simple premise. Having already landed on mobile platforms, the consoles now get their shot and this interesting mix of survival and basic arithmetic.
Mighty Math is an arcade game centred around addition and subtraction. The concept is pretty easy to grasp and a handy tutorial explains it quite well. You control a box and numbers between 1-9 will float across the screen each round. Your box has 9 boxes within it so your aim is to collect numbers whilst not going over. Numbers can subtract and add to your total so it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re collecting.
Each round has you tasked with collecting a certain amount of numbers. Fail to do that and it’s game over. This requirement does add some urgency to an otherwise relaxing game. Numbers approach in waves and can sometimes provide genuine obstacles as you navigate your way to the ones you want. As the rounds increase, so does the complexity. Numbers can arrive faster, spin and some rounds even impede you with a limited field of view. Beyond the early rounds, it can get hectic. Numbers can be in close proximity and your floating box is simply not a nimble shape. It helps test your dexterity and decide if numbers are worth going after.
The arcade sensibilities are quite strong with Mighty Math. Completing rounds adds the most to your score but also the more numbers you acquire has an influence. At the start of the run, it’s very tempting for me to try and maximise how many I can pick up. As a run progresses, I’m more inclined to take what I can get and there is a certainly relief that comes with knowing you’ve done what’s required of you.
The cadence of Mighty Math has it’s peaks and valleys. Numbers can take a while to leave the screen which does provide opportunities to regain some composure. For those in a hurry, you can speed play up using the right trigger. This can be applied at any time so there’s a chance to give yourself a self-inflicted hard mode. You also have a smart bomb that will clear the screen completely. This can be used in tight moments but I’m afraid to use it unless I’ve already secured passage to the next round.
On the one hand, I’m surprised how well this can work. Much like a crossword or another diversion to jog your brain, the simplicity of it can be easy to get into. Unfortunately, it’s not developed far beyond that. Much like an arcade game of old, there is one mode to engage with and only so many tricks up Mighty Math‘s sleeve. After about fifteen rounds, you’ve seen all the chicanery it can muster and longer stretches can feel repetitive.
If you’re the type of person who loves to chase trophies, the ones relating to score will try your patience. The scoring system is nicely spelled out but it does feel fairly incremental. The random nature of the number waves can put you in tight spots and I never felt I could truly master what Mighty Math was throwing at me. It’s unpredictable and that can lead to some wasted runs.
Presentation is kept clean and simple. You collect numbers within a white void with the black text of the numbers ensure they’re easy to spot. It’s a really clean aesthetic that I quite like. There’s one musical track for accompaniment. It can lead to the game sounding repetitive but there’s a rise and fall that mimics the gameplay well. There’s a couple of things that are ominous in their absence. I do wish there was a score tracker on screen. Having to check your high scores in between runs can feel a little clumsy. It might have potential problems with taking up screen space but I still would like to know how well a run is going.
As it is, Mighty Math is a game I can happily spend ten minute chunks trying to best scores or reach new rounds. Any more than that would be pushing a slight product beyond its limits. It’s very low frills, although some leaderboard support would’ve been welcomed. The solitary game mode has is charm and it does help flex the grey matter. Unfortunately, the slim nature of the package leads me wanting something a touch more substantial.
+ Clean presentation with relaxing music.
+ Gameplay has a good cadence to it with plenty of peaks and drops.
+ Challenge escalates quickly and kept me on my toes.
- I'd prefer scores to be visible during rounds rather than tucked away in a menu.
- The randomness of the numbers can lead to some unfortunately short runs.
- Outstays its welcome during longer sessions.