Math Gran Prix (Atari 2600)

Math Gran Prix Atari 2600 Starting screen


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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39490)
Written on  :  Sep 12, 2012
Rating  :  1.83 Stars1.83 Stars1.83 Stars1.83 Stars1.83 Stars
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A dull and boring game that combines education and racing

The Good

There aren't many games for the Atari 2600 that allow you to perform some sort of task to get through the game. Yet, Math Gran Prix manages to do just that. Although it won't hold your attention for long, it is good to improve your math.

The main premise of the game is two cars are trying to beat each other to the finish line, and progress is achieved by answering simple math question. The game can be played up to two players, but if a computer opponent is playing, then it doesn't have to solve any equations. Getting an answer right will result in you moving two or more spaces depending on your choice. Get an answer wrong and you won't be going anywhere, allowing your opponent to beat you.

I always liked when your opponent catches up to you, you are bumped off the course and you must answer a question correctly to get back on track. At that point, you can kiss goodbye your chance of winning the race, as there are special spots on the course which helps you win the race. A nice sound effect is heard when you are bumped off the track.

Math Gran Prix is aimed at kids aged six to ten, and this is demonstrated by the use of single digits to form an equation. Adults can adjust the variation settings to make the game slightly harder, to make the game use more digits and additional signs such as multiplication and division. With these type of settings, I found that I had to do the calculations in my head.

There are some nice sound effects in this game. The only sound I like are when the cars move and when you get bumped off the course. Other than this, the rest of the sound effects I heard before in most of the Atari 2600 games I have played.

The Bad

The game is quite dull when it comes to both graphics and lastability. There are symbols on the track that give you somewhat of an advantage if you drive on top of them. Apart from one symbol that allows you to select the number of spaces you want to move without solving an equation, I can't tell what each one does as they are just ordinary pictures. Math Gran Prix only features a single circuit that does not go beyond a single screen. Despite the different layout of the symbols on higher variations, the game does not keep by attention for more than two minutes.

The Bottom Line

Math Gran Prix combines a mixture of education and racing as players try to beat their opponent in a race by solving simple equations. Part of the fun for me was seeing my car getting bumped off the track when my opponent catches up to me. Single digits are used by default, but these can be changed to multiples on higher variations.

Along the tracks are symbols that give you an advantage over your opponent, but if you lost the manual, you have no idea what these do. Also, despite Atari telling you that the game is aimed at children aged six to ten, the lack of multiple circuits mean that the game won't hold their attention for very long. Due to its dullness, Math Gran Prix is not a bad game, but not a good one either.