DescriptionRobert has a terrible teacher - Mr. Bockel - who makes math class so boring that Robert hates anything to do with numbers. Until, that is, he goes to sleep one night and dreams up the Number Devil! Each night for 10 nights after that, The Number Devil takes Robert on a tour of math concepts, bringing them to life in funny and imaginative ways.
You're invited to sit back and listen as the Number Devil explains mathematical ideas to Robert, and then step in and participate by using the mouse and the keyboard to help Robert solve math problems. At the end of each lesson there is a game that reinforces that night's concept.
Most of the action is point and click, although you can use the keyboard to enter numbers for blackboard problems, and the arrow keys are necessary for some of the chapter-ending games, such as the "Sleigh Ride in Owl's Wood". At the bottom of your screen are pop-up icons for various options - back and forward arrows, volume control, your scoreboard, help, exit, and two icons that deserve a bigger explanation; Glossary and Table of Contents.
Your Glossary icon opens a book listing just about every term, concept, and person mentioned in the game; clicking on a word opens up a page explaining it. The Number Devil uses some humourous terms in place of the usual ones - here you will find that "rutabagas" are actually roots, and "prima donnas" are actually prime numbers! The Table of Contents is broken up into two parts - The Contents list, and the Seek and Ye Shall Find list. Click on a listing on the Contents page and you'll get an explanation of everything that was discussed on that night, and each part of the explanation is a link to the section of the game where that part was covered. The Seek list is an index of everything covered - clicking on a word will bring up a link to the part of the game where it is explained; these are particularly useful options for finding the mathematical concepts you need to review.
The concepts range from fairly simple (the discovery and importance of zero) to quite sophisticated (The Golden section; planes, knots and lines), making the game playable from the suggested 8-year-old level all the way through high school and beyond.
Some of the games at the end of each chapter are purposely reminiscent of some well-known titles; there is a Pac-Man type maze and a Tetris-inspired game, for example. There's a quantity-guessing game, a road rally, a sled race, a puzzle involving Roman Numerals, and more...there is an 11th level as well, accessible "by invitation only", ie, high scores on all previous nights.
The game itself closely follows the book of the same name; The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, illustrated by Rotraud Susanne Berner, and the art is based on Berner's illustrations.
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